Next week’s European parliamentary elections will clearly bring about a struggle between the pro-migration and anti-migration sides, the Minister of State for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office told the Hungarian news agency MTI on Saturday by telephone from Tallinn.

According to Szabolcs Takács, after the elections, instead of further crisis summits, meetings should be held in Brussels which address the actual situation. The Hungarian position is that the failures of the past five years are evidently the reason for the dissatisfaction of European citizens, he added.

The Minister of State attended a three-day security policy conference named after former Estonian head of state Lennart Meri held in the Estonian capital under the title One Past, Many Futures.

Questions concerning the European Union, with special regard to next week’s European parliamentary elections, were in the focus of the forum. Mr Takács, in the company of reputable international experts and politicians, including Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcák, addressed the audience at the panel discussion entitled The siren sounds of populism: Roots of disappointment at the dawn of the EP elections.

He argued that after the EP elections, instead of crisis summits, “real meetings” will have to be held in Brussels. He said “We have been witnesses to the fact that unfit Brussels leaders made bad political decisions in line with their own ideological objectives, and then made attempts to force them on the Member States, despite the fact that citizens clearly stated that they do not want them”.

It will be necessary to draw the conclusions from the flawed Brussels policies of the past few years which have led to Britain leaving the European Union, and to immigrants having flooded the European continent, he said.

According to the Minister of State, the European Commission and the European Parliament have lost their political legitimacy and credibility by having begun to implement their own pro-immigration agenda, instead of paying attention to the needs and wishes of citizens.

Mr Takács highlighted that populism was the key topic of the conference. Hungary takes the view that an artificial fault line has developed in the EU which pits forces dismissed as populist against supporters of the so-called progressive side. This is an artificial division, the sole purpose of which is to put political pressure on those who depart from the mainstream. It is much easier to condemn someone morally than to engage in a debate with them. The Brussels elite brands as populist effectively everyone who is national, anti-immigration and Christian, he stated his view.

According to Hungary, it is these very questions that will be the most important in the EP elections. Next week’s vote will clearly bring about a struggle between the pro-migration and the anti-migration sides. The main issue of the establishment of the new parliament will be how the individual nation states will relate to this question.

The politician stressed that “during the next election term, we will expect the EU to make every effort to come closer to citizens, and to close the gaps that have emerged between Brussels and citizens”. We will expect the EU to implement measures which respond to the actual needs of citizens. Europe can only be strong if it is based on mutual respect, if every nation is free to decide whether to build its future on immigration or family policy, without the threat of the institution of proceedings with reference to the rule of law or the withdrawal of EU funds from Brussels.

In this context, at the conference Mr Takács also highlighted that the Hungarian position is clear:  decisions related to migration must be taken away from the European Commission, and must be entrusted to the interior ministers of the Member States of the Schengen Area.