The Hungarian experience is that if the political will is there, European borders can be defended, and Hungary wants this common sense approach to be strengthened in the European Union, Balázs Hidvéghi, Fidesz MEP, told Hungarian journalists in Brussels on Wednesday.
Balázs Hidvéghi stressed that it must be made clear that illegal border crossing is not acceptable. It is unacceptable that some people enter Europe in violation of the law, and it is also unacceptable that people smugglers decide who can become a European resident and then a citizen.
He said that the issue of refugees and economic migrants must be separated. It is up to the member states to decide which EU country accepts economic migrants. It cannot be a rule dictated from Brussels,” he said.
Charlie Weimers, MEP for the Swedish Democrats, stressed that the migration policy of the left-wing MEPs, who are pushing for the distribution of migrants according to quotas, must be stopped. The dangers of migration must be highlighted and human trafficking must be eliminated,” he said.
National Alliance MEP Gilles Lebreton said the “situation is serious” and that the EP’s position on migration could lead to Europe’s demise. “We reject this suicidal policy,” the French politician said.
Conservative MEP Angel Jambazki said the group was firmly opposed to an open external borders policy. This policy is a threat to security and European values. Strong borders are needed to protect European society,” he said.
Identity and Democracy (ID) MEP Bernhard Zimniok said the migration proposal was bad for Europe and bad for Europeans. It does not solve problems, but multiplies them. Instead of stopping migration, it promotes mass illegal immigration, which is a threat to Europe,” said the German MEP.
Belgian right-wing MEP Tom Vandendriessche said that no country can guarantee the security of its citizens without border protection. The EU’s migration proposal is forcing immigration when the problems of migration in Europe should be solved first, he said.
Cristian Terhes, a Romanian MEP from the EP’s Conservative Group, said the EU’s migration pact threatened the sovereignty and security of member states. It undermines European unity and fails to recognise the right of member states to defend their borders and their nations,” he said.
Kosma Zlotowski, MEP for the Law and Justice party, which leads the Polish governing coalition, said illegal migration was a weapon, a threat and a security risk.
Jorge Buxade Villalba, a politician from the ECR group, said: “The open borders policy is unacceptable. Illegal migration must be stopped, there must be strong border protection and all asylum and immigration applications must be examined outside EU territory,” the Spanish MEP added.
On the other hand, Swedish MEP Thomas Tobé, of the Moderate Party (EPP) told Euronews after the debate that “it is binding that every member state contributes”, and the EP should offer what he called “flexible options” to member states, so that some can contribute to relocation, capacity building”. He said the deadlock that there has been for years most be broken. He did not mention the protection of the EU’s external borders or repatriation as part of the package of solutions.