Hungary’s leader Viktor Orban has urged other European countries to change their immigration policies – in particular, he suggested that voters should be involved in the discourse on the future of the old continent. Prime Minister Orban further claimed that without the involvement of the voters, Europe would be engulfed by a political crisis, which can eventually jeopardize the democratic order. His comments come just before the mini-summit that took place on Sunday (25 October) aiming to find a solution to the refugee crisis in Western Balkans. Leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and non-EU Macedonia and Serbia attended the event.
Hungary has been heavily criticized by the EU and international community for the way it is dealing with the biggest influx of migrants since World War II. Fidesz, the country’s ruling center-right party, said that migrants were a threat to Europe’s Christian heritage and values. The country therefore decided to build a steel fence along its border with Croatia and Serbia that, however, also garnered admiration of some EU leaders, as the European countries remains deeply divided on the issue.
However, the fence did not really manage to stop the flow of migrants. It merely redirected them towards Balkan countries, which are now facing difficulties while trying to move them on to Western Europe. Mr Orban commented that “the border fence had been meant to turn migrants back from Europe, not divert them along a different path to Germany”. He therefore asked Hungary’s Balkan neighbors to help send the migrants back. “The right thing to do is not to ensure their passage into Europe, but to take them back to the refugee camps they started out from,” he added.