“People in Western Europe are continuing to accuse Hungary of breaching judicial independence because it represents a different standpoint on the issue of migration and border protection”, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said in an interview published in French daily Le Figaro on Friday.

According to Mr. Trócsányi, the fundamental subject of dispute between the Hungarian Government and those who are making accusations against it is the idea of an “open society”, which is “a political model that promotes multiculturalism and open borders, and which places the protection of the individual above everything else”.

“We also insist on individual civil liberties, but other factors must also count, including the public interest, public order, national sovereignty and cultural identity”, the Minister stressed. “In Central Europe, we have a different vision from that of Western Europe as a result of our history. We did not experience the phenomenon of colonialism, and we also didn’t experience mass immigration”, he added. Central Europe is also tentative with relation to multiculturalism because from its perspective it isn’t working particularly well in Western Europe, Mr Trócsányi explained.

According to the Minister, the essence of the dispute with Brussels is the question of whether a state can be forced to admit foreigners who it would not like to admit. “From our perspective, this is an issue that affects our homeland’s national sovereignty and constitutional identity”, he pointed out.
In reply to a question from the paper, the Minister conceded that Hungary, “where Christian roots are important”, “has certain fears” with relation to the cohabitation of Christianity and Islam, and the feeling is that “Europe wants to sweep its roots under the carpet because of multiculturalism”, despite the fact that those are also part of Europe’s cultural heritage.

With relation to the proposed new asylum regulations, Mr. Trócsányi explained that Brussels is seemingly beginning to move in the direction of federalism and is giving European institutions increasing powers with relation to this issue, which is infringing on sovereignty.

“With relation to the quota mechanism, European institutions and the states of Western Europe are emphasising solidarity, while the Visegrád Group is placing emphasis on the principle of security”, said the Hungarian Justice Minister, according to whom transit centres should be established outside the EU to ensure that we do not have to deal with migrants who are not eligible for asylum, but who are extremely difficult to expel once they have entered Europe.

In the Minister’s opinion, also at issue is whether there will be a federal Europe in future, or a strong Europe made up of strong states. Hungary would not like a strong Europe with an open society made up of weak states, he indicated.

According to Mr. Trócsányi, these questions are also the subject of public debate in Western Europe, and there has recently been a visible change in approach in France with respect to the issue. “There exists in the current French government the true intent to listen to our opinion. President Macron is planning to visit Hungary soon, although an exact date remains to be set” the Minister said.