EP President accuses Hungary of politicizing refugee crisis

September 2, 2015

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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will be in Brussels Thursday to meet with EU leaders, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. The meetings will primarily focus on an attempt to somehow broker consensus on how to deal with the mass influx of refugees into the European Union.

Hungarian news site nol.hu reports the Juncker-Orbán meeting will address ways in which the European Commission could assist Hungary in dealing with the flow of migrants across the country’s southern border with Serbia.

Nol.hu also reports that, according to sources close to the meetings, Juncker may propose putting Hungary in the same category as countries such as Greece and Italy, that is, EU Member States on the frontline of the refugee crisis. If this happens, other EU Member States may be called upon to receive a portion of the refugees whose asylum requests have been filed in Hungary.

Orbán (pictured) may use Thursday’s trip as an opportunity to urge the Commission to reach a decision on granting the country EUR 8 million in assistance to help pay for Hungary’s border fence and expand the country’s capacity for asylum seekers. The Commission earlier stated that a decision regarding the funds would be made by the end of September.

Hungary was the only EU Member States to reject a proposal by the Commission earlier this year which sought to redistribute asylum seekers in the EU based on a quota system.

On Tuesday, Schulz told German public television that it would be in Hungary’s best interest to support a just sharing of the EU burden.

He said Hungary’s current politicizing of the refugee crisis is characterized by “irrational features and national egoism”, and the controversial border fence obviously is not solving the problem.

Schulz said he would use Thursday’s meeting with Orbán to urge him to find a “constructive, collaborative” solution for the crisis.