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Hungarian PM “The EU is bigger than Brussels”

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The Prime Minister of Hungary has hit out at Brussels chiefs for losing sight of what the European Union stands for.

In a furious speech Viktor Orban said the EU’s power remains in its member states not in its institutions such as the European Commission based in Brussels.

He said: “Those 27 countries who remain the part of the EU should practice self-criticism. 

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“If we want to restore the democratic nature of the EU, we should return to the thought that the base of the European Union is its countries and not its institutions. The European Union is not in Brussels, but in the 27, or – for the time being – in its 28 European capitals, that has got a co-operation centre in Brussels.

“We should divide the question of the EU membership from the question of migration. It is possible to create European migration politics, in harmony with the Hungarian national interest.”

migrants hungaryA staunch EU critic, Mr Orban also said the bloc’s failure to manage the migrant crisis was to blame for Britain voting to leave the EU and warned further referendums could follow.

He said: “The important question is what lessons to draw from what happened, for us Europeans who are still members of the European Union and want to stay in.

“If the EU cannot solve the migration situation then such challenges as we saw in the case of the United Kingdom will increase.”

Mr Orban’s ruling Fidesz party has initiated a referendum of its own, to be held in September or October, on whether Hungary should reject any future mandatory quotas from Brussels to resettle migrants arriving en masse from countries such as Syria.

Hungary, which built a fence on its southern border to keep out migrants, has repeatedly accused the EU of weakness in the face of the crisis, calling for tough policies like fortified borders and strict immigration procedures.

He said Hungary’s referendum was about winning a political mandate for an impending European debate in which member states will have to thrash out a robust new migration policy.

He said: “Our goal is to stop migrants. Many countries here have a different goal: to let them in, or bring them in, then spread them around.

“There will be no unified migration policy until we make clear what goals to use Europe’s resources for.”

ling Fidesz party has initiated a referendum of its own, to be held in September or October, on whether Hungary should reject any future mandatory quotas from Brussels to resettle migrants arriving en masse from countries such as Syria.

Hungary, which built a fence on its southern border to keep out migrants, has repeatedly accused the EU of weakness in the face of the crisis, calling for tough policies like fortified borders and strict immigration procedures.

 

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