“There is no need for Frontex to protect the Hungarian border in our place,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Salzburg on Thursday. The cabinet minister later said that the proposal that Hungary objects to has been sent back.
Arriving at a summit of European Union leaders, Orban told journalists that the European Commission has put forward a proposal saying that “if there’s trouble”, national competencies should be “taken away from member states” and border protection should be managed by the EU.
Orban said he had presented Hungary’s proposal on Wednesday to Austria which would “resolve this problem” by allowing member states to retain their right to protect their borders. The same proposal has already been presented to Bulgaria, he noted.
The prime minister called Frontex, the EU’s border agency, a “nice idea”, but said the agency had “never successfully protected a single metre of a border, while we have protected hundreds of kilometres”.
“There’s no need for them to protect the Hungarian border in our place, not to mention the questions of principle concerning the issue of sovereignty,”
Orban said this was the stance he would represent at the summit, adding that “there are more of us who oppose” the EC’s proposal. “The status quo is on our side for now.”
On the subject of Brexit, the prime minister said Hungary believes the EU should not punish the UK. “A fair Brexit and good cooperation is needed between Britain and the European Union in the future,” he said.
Asked if he expected the Sargentini report, which the European Parliament passed last week, to come up during the summit, Orban said: “Everyone just laughs at that.”
Rogan: EU leaders set aside part of EU border control proposal which Hungary objects to
The leaders of European Union member states have sent back for reconsideration the part of the EU’s border control proposal that Hungary objects to, Antal Rogan, the cabinet chief, said on Thursday.
Rogan told MTI by phone from Salzburg that Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, had proposed at a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP), in Orban’s absence, that Hungary’ ruling Fidesz party should be frozen out of the grouping. This initiative was rejected, Rogan said. He said it was “unfortunate” that Juncker had put forward his proposal when Orban was no longer in the room. Orban had left to attend a four-minute meeting with Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Chancellor. This had been a programme known in advance, he added. Nevertheless, the EPP leaders clearly rejected Juncker’s proposal, Rogan said.
Meanwhile, Orban and his delegation also attended the summit of EU member state leaders, and told them that Hungary’s border would continue to be protected by Hungarian soldiers and police officers. After a discussion, they set aside the part of the proposal that would have removed powers under national sovereignty, such as the operations of the Hungarian border guard and police, he said. The proposal, however, will be re-scheduled for the formal summit of EU leaders towards the end of the year, Rogan said.
Source and photo: MTI