EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker targeted Hungary for its policy relative to migrants and NGOs which aid them, and is pursuing legal action against the Central European country. Orban, on the other hand, is responding that it doesn’t matter what he thinks or does since his commission is soon to expire.
He also pointed out that it’s not right to go after countries which defend their borders, defend their culture, defend their way of life, and defend their native populations against what he describes as an ‘invasion’.
HUNGARY’S Viktor Orban has fired a warning shot at the EU executive reminding Brussels bosses that its days are “numbered” as his ongoing row with the bloc over migration continues to rage.
The Hungarian prime minister called for a new approach to migration policy, warning that the next Commission should not punish countries that protect their borders from migrants.
Mr Orban, one of the strongest opponents of the EU’s migration policy, said the days of the current EU executive, led by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are “numbered” with its mandate expiring in May next year.
The European Commission earlier this month stepped up a legal battle with Hungary over EU migration rules, declaring illegal a new Hungarian law that criminalises support for asylum seekers.
It referred Hungary to the EU Court of Justice “for non-compliance of its asylum and return legislation with EU law”.
The controverisal Hungarian leader said the Commission’s decision was insignificant as its mandate was running out soon.
He said the current decisions and proposals of the Commission were like “the last movements of frogs’ legs in biological experiments which we saw when we were at school, which no longer had significance”.
Mr Orban told state radio: “We need a new Commission with a new approach.
“We need a Commission after the European elections which does not punish those countries that protect their borders like Hungary.”
He said the EU executive should instead punish those who let millions of migrants into Europe in violation of the existing rules of the EU. He did not name any member states.
European Parliamentary elections will be held in May 2019.
Orban’s right-wing nationalist Fidesz party has a strong lead in opinion polls after it won national elections in April with a landslide, and he was re-elected for a third consecutive term.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Mr Orban has repeatedly clashed with the EU over the migrant crisis after refusing to sign up to refugee resettlement schemes.
He has been the leader of Hungary since 2010, in which time he has railed against immigration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East and worked to create what he terms an “illiberal democracy” centred around nationalism and anti-immigration rhetoric.
Mr Orban has been a fierce long-term critic of the Brussels bloc, and has staunchly opposed its approach to immigration.
He told supporters this year: “Europe is now under invasion. Brussels is not defending Europe and it is not halting immigration.
“It wants to dilute the population of Europe and to replace it, to cast aside our culture, our way of life and everything which separates and distinguishes us Europeans from the other peoples of the world.
Orban has been the popularly elected leader of Hungary for nearly a decade, and his policies have been all but controversial, but it looks like he not only outlasts his opposition, but that events end up working out in such a way as vindicate him.
The migration matter has been ripping up the EU’s unity, with the issue leading to division not only between many EU member states, but in the domestic political battles that have threatened governmental coalitions, namely in Germany, and the complete shift in Italy.
With secondary migration off the menu and deportation being on the table, and assuming migrants becoming a voluntary thing, it’s looking like Orban’s view of the matter, in practicality, is becoming the European view, in a sense. Orban will still be there when Juncker is gone, and the political climate in Europe is changing, with and with him.