The Sargentini report is a “last, desperate attempt” of the pro-migration forces to punish Hungary for its consistent stance against migration before the next EP election, Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, told a press conference on Friday.
The report is “packed with untrue claims”, he added. The report of the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), spearheaded by Green MEP Judith Sargentini, will be debated in the parliament’s plenary session on September 11, and voted on on the next day. The report has said that there was a “clear risk of a serious breach by Hungary of the values of the European Union”, which it said warranted launching the Article 7 procedure, which could ultimately strip the country of its voting rights.
On another subject, Gulyas said that the European Commission will pay 54 million euros to Hungary, covering part of the 900 million euros the country has spent on protecting its southern borders since the start of the migration crisis. The EC thus recognises that Hungary has been protecting the EU’s external borders, Gulyas insisted. The EC has approved more than 300 million euros of the total expense and will transfer 54 million euros which is currently available in the near future, he said.
When the border fence was being built, everybody was debating whether it was indeed necessary and if Hungary was actually protecting the EU’s external borders, he noted. The EC is not providing the funds directly for the construction of the fence but to contribute to other security expenses, Gulyas said.
Regarding French President Emanuel Macron’s criticism of a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister, Gulyas said that Macron “belongs to the circle of politicians” supporting uncontrolled migration, while “the other side” seeks to protect the EU.
On the provisions for asylum seekers in the transit zones on Hungary’s southern borders, Gulyas said that all asylum seekers receive full board until their requests are decided. “All claims to the contrary are false,” he said.
Gulyas lauded the recently appointed US ambassador to Hungary, David B. Cornstein, as the “first US ambassador in a long time who has the possibility to actually improve the relations between the two countries”. The prime minister is to meet Cornstein soon, he said.
“When reality hits”
State Secretary for EU Affairs Judit Varga continued her series of Facebook posts entitled “Best of Sargentini – When reality hits” on Friday. Commenting on legal issues, Varga asks “How does the rapporteur expect to have a better dialogue with the Hungarian government when she continues to bring up the past differences that have already been reassuringly concluded?” adding that “the report lacks context”. She stresses that “Hungary is currently being portrayed as a Member State with a high number of infringement procedures, but in reality, it has the 9th best result out of the 28 countries concerning the number of cases”.
Source: MTI/Hungary Journal