“If there is no shift in a positive direction towards Hungary’s standpoint in the first draft of the UN’s migration package, Hungary’s exit process from the series of negotiations will be launched”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said.

The Minister highlighted the fact that he has been given orders from the Cabinet to examine the first draft of the package when it is published on 5 February, and if it as pro-migration as is expected according to the declaration on which it is based and the recent statement by the UN Secretary General, then to launch Hungary’s exit process from the series of negotiations.

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“Based on the declaration adopted in 2016, a series of inter-governmental negotiations should be launched in February, after which the final package should be adopted at the end of the year, but the series of negotiations hasn’t even begun yet and the Secretary General has already announced the result”, he stressed.

“The basic position adopted by both the New York declaration and the statement of the Secretary General is at odds with Hungary’s standpoint and interests, because they describe migration as a good and unstoppable phenomenon”, Mr. Szijjártó explained. “In Hungary’s opinion, however, migration is not a positive process and is not unstoppable, but instead represents a major security risk and can be stopped”, he pointed out.

“The declaration and the statement talk about migration opportunities, but instead of this and instead of encouraging migration we should be talking about how to stop it”, he said. “The declaration and the statement by the Secretary General follow a train of thought according to which the administrative burdens relating to admitting migrants should be eased, which represents yet another motivating factor for people who are thinking about setting off, in addition to which the plans mean the dissolving of national migration policies”, he explained.

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According to the Foreign Minister, the declaration and the statement set as their goal the fact that programmes for the admittance of migrants should also be launched in countries that are not affected by migration, which instead of limiting the problem makes the challenge even greater.

“The declaration also sets the goal of reducing the criminalisation of illegally crossing state borders, when in fact that is a crime and a country’s ability to protect its own borders is one of the most important criteria of statehood and an important element of sovereignty”, he declared. “In addition, the declaration wants to position migration as a fundamental human right, as well as ignoring the differences between legal and illegal migration, which is unacceptable”, he said.

“Furthermore, neither the declaration nor the Secretary General’s statement talk about handling the causes of migration, when in fact this is also of key importance in addition to border protection, and they also fail to mention countries’ commitments to readmit migrants”, the Minister also pointed out.

In reply to a question on the Soros Plan, Mr. Szijjártó said: “A clear concept of this kind exists, and the parallels are clear when put side-by-side with the UN Secretary General’s statement”.

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In reply to a question on whether Hungary will not be able to take part in the vote if it exits the series of negotiations, the Foreign Minister explained: “If a country exits the negotiations, it exits every element of them”, but posed the question: “If the result of a series of negotiations is announced before the negotiation process has even begun, what kind of illusions can people have with relation to the vote?”

Mr. Szijjártó also said that no decision can restrict the number of people who enter transit zones; only one thing can limit their numbers and that is capacity, because every request for asylum must be thoroughly assessed.

With relation to the fact that during his visit to Vienna on Tuesday Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had also discussed the planned changes to the Austrian family support system with the Austrian Chancellor, Mr. Szijjártó said: “This is a European issue, and Hungary is justified to expect all EU member states to act in a fair manner in accordance with EU regulations”. “It is unfair towards Hungarians if they work in another country and pay the same taxes and social security contributions as the citizens of the given country, but do not receive the same services”, he said.

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“The European Commission will be examining the issue, and if the EU body applies a common standard then it can come to no other decision than that this is contrary to European law”, he said. “Hungarians working abroad are extremely important to the Government; it is the Government’s duty to take action and fight in their interests, and this is precisely what it will be doing in this case”, he declared.