Addressing an international press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary’s goal is to have “anti-immigration forces” in the majority in every European Union institution.
Hungary wants to see an anti-immigration majority first in the European Parliament, then the European Commission and eventually, through member states’ national elections, in the European Council as well, Orban said.
The prime minister said May’s European parliamentary elections would be historic because Europeans would finally get to have their say on the issue of migration. Hungary so far has been the only member state where the people have been given the chance to express their views on migration, he said. Orban added that his Fidesz party’s aim for the elections was “to be the most successful party” in Europe and in the European People’s Party.
Migration is not simply an issue that will be in the focus of the European parliamentary elections but one that is profoundly transforming European policies, Orban said. The traditional division of parties into left wing and right wing is being replaced by a new division based on either being pro-migration or anti-migration, he said.
The migration debate also has bearing on attitudes to Christianity, making the protection of Christian culture a political duty, Orban said. It also has a bearing on the debate about sovereignty because migration advocates disrespect the decisions of those against taking in migrants, he added.
The prime minister said that migration would be Europe’s defining issue in next 15-20 years, arguing that the population growth rates of Africa and Asia were higher than their population retention rates.
Hungary can be proud that it was the first country to prove that migration can be stopped on land, and for a long time not even countries with maritime borders attempted to achieve such a feat, the prime minister said. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was the first to say that this could be done, Orban said, adding that this had made Salvini a “hero” in his eyes.
The prime minister said the Polish-Italian axis was “one of the best things to happen” and great hope was set in store for this development.
Orban noted that Fidesz is a member of the EPP and added that “loyalty in Hungary is a political value”. “As long as we are [in the EPP]— hopefully for a long time — we will always be loyal to our party family”.
At the same time, he added, the issue of migration “does not recognise party borders” and requires the cooperation of governments. The prime minister said he was always ready to meet Salvini if the migration issue justified doing so and as long as Salvini was responsible for migration issues in Italy.
Migration has already brought about significant changes in terms of Europe’s future, Orban said. In some countries it is already clear that their civilisations will be mixed going forward, and it is only a question of how the people will coexist, he added.
Migration in western Europe is a question of coexistence, Orban said. But in central Europe the debate is centred on “how we can prevent a situation like the one that can already be seen in western Europe”, he added.
Orban said migration had driven western and central Europe far apart, adding that the question was how they can remain united “now that they’ve chosen such different futures”.
A homogeneous European civilisation is being replaced by two civilisations: one that builds its future on the coexistence of Islam and Christianity, and the central European model which continues to conceive Europe “as a Christian civilisation”, Orban said.
He said the issue of migration was dismantling the EU’s structure and was also behind Brexit. All liberal democrats, he said, were pro-migration, he added.
Image credit: Mehaniq / shutterstock.com – MTI