Orban's Migrant Focus for Hungary's EU Presidency

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jun.23 - 2024 10:03 AM CET

Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com
Orban aims to reshape EU migration policy during Hungary's presidency starting July 1.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban plans to spotlight migration issues during Hungary's upcoming presidency of the European Union, starting July 1.

Orban's stance aligns with recent comments by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on the need for external asylum procedures.

Migration at the Forefront

In an interview with the Funke media group, Orban expressed support for Chancellor Scholz’s idea to manage asylum procedures outside of the EU.

He highlighted Hungary's proactive measures, such as processing asylum requests in third countries like Serbia, before allowing entry into Hungary.

"We already practice what Scholz suggests," Orban remarked.

Legal Challenges and Penalties

However, Hungary's approach to migration has not been without controversy. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently fined Hungary €200 million and an additional €1 million per day for failing to comply with EU laws on migrant protection.

The fines stem from Hungary’s non-compliance with a 2020 ruling aimed at safeguarding the rights of asylum seekers.

Despite these penalties, Hungary remains resolute in its current policies, positioning itself against broader EU regulations.

As Hungary prepares to assume the EU presidency from Belgium, the role primarily involves bureaucratic responsibilities such as setting meeting agendas and guiding political discussions.

Hungary has pledged to act as a fair mediator, although its tumultuous relationship with EU institutions over rule of law and corruption issues could pose challenges. Orban’s government has frequently clashed with the EU on these fronts, raising questions about its ability to foster consensus.