More than 2.3 million questionnaires were submitted in Hungary’s latest national consultation on controversial plans to accept and resettle migrants in Europe and Hungary. This is the highest number so far in Hungary’s history of national consultations to give citizens a chance to have their voices heard.
This consultation asked citizens questions focused on the “Soros plan” – the liberal open border approach to migration hallmarked by the father of Open Society Foundations, George Soros. The approach, propagated by left-wing and liberal politicians and governments in Europe is at odds with the Hungarian government’s pro-security approach towards migration so much that even in one of his earlier writings entitled, “Here’s my plan to solve the asylum chaos,” Soros himself identified Prime Minister Orbán as his ideological opposite on the issue. With the first results published on Sunday, Soros himself has launched a PR blitz in Hungarian and English on the issue.
The struggle to shape Europe’s response to the migration crisis continues, and Hungary remains one of the few European countries giving citizens a chance to have a say on an issue that would have direct impact on their daily lives and define the future for many years to come.
“The stakes remain the same,” said Parliamentary State Secretary Csaba Dömötör after the final deadline last week for submitting the questionnaires, “whether Hungary will become an immigrant country or not.”
“At stake is whether they will take from us an authority of strategic significance or we will be able to keep it in our hands,” Dömötör continued, “whether we can strengthen Hungary and ultimately the security of Europe.”
“They want a compulsory and permanent program for resettlement of migrants,” said Dömötör, referring to the November 16 decision of the European Parliament, “specifically without an upper limit.”
The record response rate should not be surprising. Over the last two years, this pro-immigration agenda that would admit millions of migrants to Europe lacked any democratic legitimacy from the people of the continent. Numbers show that the citizens of Europe find securing the borders of Europe essential to protecting the freedoms and safety we enjoy in the European Union. But that will not stop the other side.
George Soros announced last week that he is stepping into Hungary’s domestic campaign, concerned about the results of the national consultation. His followers in the European Parliament and other institutions, who share a similar ideological platform with the billionaire financier are working hard to fight for more open borders and an automatic redistribution mechanism that would take away the right of the Member States to decide on immigration. We saw further evidence of this in the LIBE Committee hearing on the rule of law in Hungary last week.
Prime Minister Orbán, referring to these developments, noted that the European Parliament has already started to carry it out and to pressure the other European institutions to get in line as well.
The people who live, work and raise families in Europe – our citizens – do not want to take part in some kind of sociological experiment. They seek the preservation of European culture, of our national heritage and national security.
We side with them because we believe it should be up to the people to decide. The national consultation remains an important tool to give them a chance to have their voice heard. The resounding response shows us it matters to them.