The Hungarian government is planning to use next month’s referendum on migrant quotas to expose the “stealth way the EU is working,” it’s official spokesman has announced.
At a meeting at the Hungarian Permanent Representation in Brussels, Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács revealed that the referendum question, to be put to the Hungarian people on October 2nd, will read: “Do you want to allow the European Union to mandate the resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary, without the approval of the National Assembly?”
Kovács spoke to journalists at length about the successes of Viktor Orbán’s government, including on reducing sovereign debt, reducing unemployment, and boosting the economy, Euractiv has reported.
He said the goal during the referendum process would be to present “the views of the people”, particularly on migration and asylum policy which has never come under Brussels jurisdiction, according to the EU Treaties.
“[The referendum] is going to have political and legal consequences. The message is going to be unavoidable not only for the Hungarian government and the Hungarian parliament, but for the European institutions and everyone in Brussels”, he said.
“It is deciding, or it is signing, in what perspective, in what manner the Hungarian government should approach the future of Europe, the future of European institutions, the future of decision-making, protocols that have been set in the past couple of years in the heart of Europe.
“These issues should be re-addressed and talked about in an open manner and it’s completely unacceptable that the policies we have seen for the last couple of years, the stealth mode of decision-making, law-making and regulation is going to continue.”
Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves throughout the European political establishment, as the remaining member states wrangle over on how to adapt to the post-Brexit landscape.
Kovács suggested that it should be used as an opportunity to strengthen the Union through the creation of “stronger member states”. To illustrate his idea, he pointed to the successful closure of the Balkan route as a passage for migrants heading into Europe, claiming the victory as one which belonged to eastern member states including Hungary, not the EU as a whole.
Building on the idea, he also called for the reinforcement of the Schengen agreement as a matter of priority, insisting that Hungary would not be taking “anyone back,” despite current rules stipulating that asylum seekers must register in the first EU country they reach – or face being returned there.
“We are not going to take responsibility for the shortcomings of others, who invited the migrants”, he said.
“We are going to have a very complicated political debate with the European institutions and we believe that the message sent by the Hungarians voters is going to be unavoidable for everyone.”
* * *