DK: Migrant Quota Referendum Irrelevant To EC

  • 12 Aug 2016 9:00 AM
DK: Migrant Quota Referendum Irrelevant To EC
The outcome of the Oct 2 referendum in Hungary about the European Union’s migrant quotas is irrelevant to the European Commission and will not overwrite the government’s obligations to the EU, MEP Péter Niedermüller, of the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK), said on Thursday.

Niedermüller said he had submitted a written question about Hungary’s quota referendum to the EC in July and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker made it clear in his response that regardless of the referendum’s outcome, Hungary’s government is expected to meet its obligations stemming from EU membership.

The government has been “inciting the public” for months, saying that the referendum would be a message to Brussels but there is now proof that this “pseudo referendum” is not about the quota, since it will not affect it, Niedermüller said. Instead, the government is asking for an authorisation to drive Hungary out of the EU, he added.

DK is repeatedly asking Hungarian voters not to participate in the referendum. Staying away will be a clear expression of the view that Hungary should remain an EU member, Niedermüller said.

Later in the day government spokesman Zoltán Kovács said at a press conference that the referendum was “absolutely necessary”, arguing that the EU is preparing to prescribe regulations for member states in an area that is not an EU competency.

He said the government’s summer media campaign for the quota referendum had been necessary because western European media is “divided” on this issue and in part tries to “cover up” the reality of the migration situation.

He added that there has been a surge in the harassment of women since the start of the migrant crisis and that there is “definitive proof of a link between illegal migration and terrorism.” Kovács said the government will continue the campaign.

He said the government will move to extend the state of crisis due to mass migration that expires on September 9.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

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