Two days after the European Court of Justice threw out the case from Hungary and Slovakia against the EU’s refugee quota scheme, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned the “real battle is just beginning”.
“Hungary is a European Union member, so the bloc’s treaties must be respected and the court’s rulings must be acknowledged,” the populist leader said in a radio interview. “But this is not a reason to change an immigration policy that rejects migrants. The court’s ruling does not require Hungary to do anything.”
Under the refugee quota scheme, Hungary is required to take in 1,294 refugees and Slovakia 902.
As reported by Al Jazeera, Orban argued that EU countries which let in migrants, unlike Hungary, decided to do so of their own will and now they cannot ask Budapest to take a part in correcting their mistake.
“It is not us Hungarians who question the rules of the club, but the Commission had changed the rules and this is unacceptable,” Orban said.
“The whole issue raises a very serious question of principles: whether we are an alliance of European free nations with the Commission representing our joint interests, or a European empire which has its centre in Brussels and which can issue orders.”
What is more, Orban has also requested the EU to refund half the €800m he says his country has spent on building borders.
In a separate report, The Washington Post noted that research suggests migrants and refugees talk and dream of Germany first and foremost, and have little familiarity with, or hope for, resettling in other Western EU states, let alone Eastern EU states such as Hungary or Slovakia.
Based on 8,000 interviews conducted by the NGO Internews with displaced persons across Greece, more migrants and refugees want to go to Germany. Hungary is mentioned only 15 times. Slovakia is never mentioned.