The Migration Crisis Caught Europe Unprepared
“The migration crisis caught Europe unprepared, and according to Hungary the solution proposed by Brussels, the quota system, is not working”, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said in an interview published in French language Lebanese daily L’Orient- Le Jour on Tuesday, 7 November.
Mr. Trócsányi, who was on an official visit to Lebanon last week, explained. “The migration crisis caught Europe unprepared. The reasons for the outflow of migrants varies: it can be political uncertainty or war, and in the southern countries climate change.
But whatever the cause, the response provided by Brussels is always the same: the quota system”. The system doesn’t work for several reasons, according to the Minister. “Firstly, the refugees generally want to reach countries like Germany or Sweden, Hungary is just a transit state. Secondly, Hungary does not want a federal Europe. We insist on the issue of sovereignty and believe that the quota should be voluntary and not mandatory, as the authorities in Brussels would like to make it”, he said. “Proof of this is the fact that Malta alone succeeded in fulfilling the quota”, he added.
The Minister recalled that in 2015 almost 400 thousand refugees arrived in Hungary, which is party to the Schengen Agreement. He also said that Hungary was criticised for building the security fence, despite the fact that this is the only way to control those who enter Hungary’s territory. He also pointed out that the perpetrators of the Brussels and Paris terrorist attacks had previously travelled through Hungary.
Mr. Trócsányi said that he had visited the refugee camp near Tripoli in northern Lebanon run by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and was informed about official procedures relating to refugees and about humanitarian care. With relation to the visit, the Minister told the paper that he had also spoken to Syrian refugees with relation to their possibly returning to safe Syrian territories, but determined that families who have been living in Lebanon for five years do not want to return to their home country. “And this is the great question”, he noted. “Lebanon has made a huge effort, but we must now think about Syrian reconstruction and those who are performing this task, primarily including the Syrians themselves, to that these people are able to return home”, he said. Mr, Trócsányi also pointed out that, amongst others, Hungary is also providing funding for the education of refugees.
In the interview, the Minister pointed out the importance of constitutional self-identity in the globalised world, for instance in a country with multiple religious denominations such as Lebanon. “These days there is huge chasm between European institutions and European citizens, who despite its importance often do not understand how the European machine works. Every country has a national constitution that plays an adhesive role in society. The Treaty on the European Union cannot provide answers to everything, a society’s values are borne by the constitution”, he said.
Mr. Trócsányi told the paper that there is a partner relationship between the University of Szeged and the Saint Joseph University in Beirut, where during his visit he held a lecture on, amongst others, the need for constitutional dialogue between the executive branch of power and the judiciary. He explained that Hungary operates a scholarship programme for foreign students in which 15 Lebanese university students have taken part so far, with places now open for a further fifty. Refuting criticism that Hungary is failing to show solidarity, he also pointed out that Hungary had was also providing free university education to 400 Syrian nationals.
Mr. Trócsányi also made a point of mentioning judicial cooperation between the two countries, with regard to which he recently signed an agreement with his Lebanese counterpart. The agreement covers the training of judges, the exchange of information and the organisation of joint discussions, he explained. “The judicial system is also becoming increasingly international. Judges are interested in the judicial practices of other countries. (…) Political leaders are used to conflict, while judges search for compromises and solutions”, he stated.
[Source: Government of Hungary (MTI) -/- Media Relations]
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