Hungary must be protected from illegal migration; this is why we need the amendment of the Constitution and the “Stop Soros” legislative package, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said on Kossuth Radio’s programme Sunday Paper (Vasárnapi Újság).

The politician pointed out that the positions of the UN and the European Union are very different from that of the Hungarian government, and are close to those of organisations supporting immigration. According to Mr Gulyás, it is impossible to come to a common position on illegal migration in Europe.

The Hungarian government takes the view that refugees do not have the right to choose a country for themselves anywhere in the world; they are only entitled to seek asylum in the first safe country they enter as long as they are genuinely in need of protection, the Minister said.

During the Yugoslav Wars, in the 1990s, Hungary took in tens of thousands of genuine refugees, and thereby demonstrated that it provides protection for those in need as first safe country, Mr Gulyás observed.

In his view, declaring the organisation of illegal migration a criminal offence deprives people smugglers of their means and prevents illegal immigration.

Mr Gulyás argued that the number of votes cast for the opposition, other than Jobbik, on 8 April clearly shows the social support that the pro-immigration stance enjoys in Hungary.

The Minister highlighted that in the referendum held in 2016 with respect to the mandatory resettlement quotas 3.4 million people stated their opinion on immigration. Hungarian citizens decide whom they want to live together with and whom not, he pointed out.

The UN or any other international organisation should not interfere. They may state their opinion, but the decision will be made by the democratically elected Hungarian Parliament, the government party politician said. Regarding criticisms levelled at Hungary with reference to solidarity, Mr Gulyás pointed out that there are no grounds to hold the Hungarian government to account on this score.

The fence built on the southern borders is one of the manifestations of solidarity as if the EU’s external borders are not protected by someone, there will be controls on the internal borders as we may observe today in the case of several Member States, and in consequence one of the greatest achievements of the EU, free movement, will be in jeopardy, he said.

Europe’s external borders must be protected, the EU must require the protection of the Schengen borders and the EU must foot a part of the bill which Hungary is required to pick up at present in connection with these responsibilities, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said.