The protection of borders and the fight against illegal migration are the most crucial issues of Western civilisation in the 21st century, and Hungary looks upon Australia as a model to be followed in the area of the measures it has implemented in connection with illegal immigration, said Balázs Orbán, the Parliamentary and Strategic State Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office who spoke to the Hungarian news agency MTI by telephone during his visit to Australia.

Mr Orbán said the parties agreed at all meetings that Hungary and Australia see the world in a similar light in many respects, including the challenges which are currently afflicting the Western world, in particular, the issue of illegal immigration.

“In Hungary we look upon the results achieved by Australia in the field of illegal migration as a model,” the State Secretary stated, adding that in this area since 2015 the Hungarian government, too, has sought to adopt similar approaches.

“Every government must primarily consider the interests of its own citizens, must act with a view to their interests, and must control their borders stringently,” Mr Orbán added.

He said that in consequence of the measures implemented by the Australian government with a view to the curtailment of illegal immigration, in the past few years, the number of those entering the country illegally via the sea has practically fallen to zero, and the Australian authorities have successfully eliminated people smuggling gangs as well.

Mr Orbán pointed out that Australia’s authorities turn back all vessels which approach Australia’s shores illegally, and take the people to external camps, far from the continent.

The State Secretary also met with Tony Abbott. It was during his premiership between 2013 and 2015 that the country first introduced measures seeking to combat illegal migration. Mr Orbán’s visit took place soon after the incumbent governing conservative party alliance – which Mr Abbott came from – currently led by Scott Morrison won the parliamentary elections held in Australia in May.

In addition to Canberra, the State Secretary also paid a visit to Sydney where he met with government officials, politicians, and figures active in the fields of research and academia. He later delivered a lecture about Hungary and the Central European region at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and visited the local Hungarian community. In this regard he stressed that the Hungarian community is very well-respected in Australia, and the Hungarians living there are likewise not forgotten by Budapest.

The State Secretary pointed out that there are traditionally very close relations between Hungary and Australia, including, among others, economic relations.