In a startling move, the European Union has put forth amendments to the Dublin Agreement which would in practice see enforced migrant quotas placed on all EU nations on a permanent basis. This policy has passed its first steps and is not being reported in the regular press.
The actions are very much against the wishes of member state citizens, but seem to be supported by the majority of politicians. One politician who is angered (and in a minority) is Hungary’s Viktor Orbán.
“The musket is not only primed but loaded: in Europe in the future a permanent and mandatory migrant relocation quota mechanism will be established, with no upper limit on numbers: the mandatory relocation quota,” Mr. Orbán told press.
According to Breitbart, if implemented, the draft of proposals would see:
Scrapping the rule that the first country of safe arrival is responsible for asylum seekers who reach its borders;
Asylum seekers’ preference would be taken into consideration with migrants being able to choose between four countries which, at that time, had received the fewest number of asylum seekers;
Faster family reunification;
Applicants will have the “option to register as a group” of up to 30 on arrival in Europe;
“All member states must participate and share responsibility for asylum seekers”; and
“Member states refusing to accept the relocation of applicants… would face limits on their access to EU funds”.
Mr. Orbán said that “It is true that we are waist-deep in the struggle to protect this slice of our national sovereignty, but so far we have succeeded because until now we have been the ones who decide who can live on Hungarian territory. But the attack on our sovereignty that the European Parliament has now launched is fiercer than any previous one.”
This escalates the already existing east/west rivalry over immigration within the EU. To date, only the eastern Visegrad nations have tried to stand up to the migrant quotas being imposed. However, with more right wing populist parties coming to power and gaining important seats over the last two months, it is likely that they will be joined by a grander coalition of nations.
In Germany the AfD have won a historic 93 seats in the Budestag. In Austria, Sebstian Kurz has won over 30% of the electorate with his anti-EU sentiment. And in the Czech Republic, Andrej Bibas (founder of the ANO party) has won the most votes and is on course to head up a coalition government.
It is likely that European leaders who oppose the mandatory migrant quotas will coalesce around Hungary’s leader. He has shown himself to be unafraid of EU pressure and is well-known for speaking his mind plainly. Orbán said: “While this government is in power and I am at its head, there will be no kind of relocation or quota in Hungary.”
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.