Europe Divided Over Migration, But Hungary Stands Firm

  • 6 Jan 2016 8:00 AM
Europe Divided Over Migration, But Hungary Stands Firm
In an interview published 29 December 2015, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said that Europe is divided and uncertain about migration, but Hungary takes firm positions on key issues. Together with Slovakia, Hungary has legally challenged the EU’s mandatory migrant quota plans at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, he said.

Minister Trócsányi said he had sought the opinions of his counterparts in EU Member States and it seemed that some countries were firmly opposed to the Hungarian position, to the extent that “they wouldn’t even listen to our legal arguments”.

Others were informally supportive, but wished to stay neutral, while still others went further to say that the mandatory quota system had already failed, Minister Trócsányi said.

Looking at the issue from Central Europe, the immigration policies of the West are “far from being a success story” and integration efforts resulted in problems over the past decades, especially where there were religious obstacles, Minister Trócsányi explained, adding that he himself had experienced this while being ambassador in Paris and Brussels.

Europe is undecided, and a sign of this is its many contradicting responses on the issue, he said. Some European leaders want to look firm and resort to blackmail or threats, but this is not likely to succeed. Hungary has formulated firm positions based on its national traditions, “constitutional identity” and value choices, which are backed by legal arguments.

“We are in a dispute, but that is not a problem, as disputes can often help reaching a solution”, he said.

Hungary is not alone: it is backed by the Visegrád countries (Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia). This alliance should be expanded, especially regionally, Minister Trócsányi stressed. The many different interests and voices within the European Union offer numerous connecting points and alliance opportunities. Legal reasoning is important in order to represent Hungary’s stance on various matters, he added. When there is no room for a compromise, the right to veto must be exercised.

“Constitutional historical traditions, Europe’s Christian roots, family and marriage bear different meanings in our region and in Western Europe,” the Minister said. Hungary’s policy for Hungarian communities abroad is also on this list, he added. The right to use one’s mother tongue should receive more attention and legal protection at European forums, he emphasised.

Source: Ministry of Justice

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