On 11-12 October 2018 the Justice and Home Affairs Council held a two-day meeting in Luxembourg. On the home affairs day of the session the Hungarian delegation was led by Interior Minister Sándor Pintér.

Regarding the amendment of the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation, Hungary agreed with elements of the proposal which seek to enable the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to provide wider operational and technical support for Member States and third countries, without geographical restrictions, in the interest of stopping the migration influx heading towards the EU.

It is fundamental for Hungary to lay down that the sovereignty of Member States cannot be curtailed under any circumstances, meaning that the protection of the external borders must fall within the primary local responsibility of Member States. Accordingly, the solution proposed by the EU draft cannot substitute for, but can only complement the powers arising from Member State sovereignty. The extent of the funds planned to be allocated to the agency must also be reconsidered as according to the present proposal of the Commission in the next multiannual financial framework Frontex would be given more funds than the Member States combined.

The ministers additionally discussed the drafts for the regulations concerning the three new funds of the next budgetary period which are linked to migration partially or in their entirety (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, Integrated Border Management Fund, Internal Security Fund). Hungary fundamentally welcomes the establishment of the new Funds, and also the fact that in the coming period more funds will be available. We for our part wish to stop migration outside the borders of the European Union, and our primary goal is to strengthen effective cooperation in the external dimension and to support third countries. We take the view that this must be emphatically reflected in the structure of the next multiannual financial framework. One of the key events of the home affairs session was the debate on the Commission’s proposal for the amendment of the Return Directive. The Directive mostly contains elements of the current Hungarian practice, while in the case of differences further consultations are necessary in the interest of making return practices more effective.

Regarding the progress of the reform of the Common European Asylum System, the Austrian Presidency introduced the results achieved to date. Hungary underlined the significance of the right order for the implementation of the required measures. We must first regain full control of the external borders, and further strategic decisions can only be adopted after this, in light of the actual situation.

((Ministry of Interior))