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Editorial

Migration is neither a human right, nor a desirable process

| June 12, 2018

Hungary remains at the negotiating table to pursue solutions for managing global migration at the international community’s level. But as Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said recently, the compact appears to put the interests of Africa before the security of our own citizens.

As the UN migration package unfolds, it’s increasingly becoming a clear threat to Europe, Minister Szijjártó said to journalists prior to his address last week to the intergovernmental negotiations body at UN headquarters.

“It would now be justified to rechristen the Global Compact for Migration to the African Compact, since its clear beneficiary is Africa and its clear victim is Europe,” he said. Minister Szijjártó also pointed out that as far as the compact is concerned, migration is considered to be the best solution for demographic and labor market challenges. “Hungary does not agree with this,” he said, “In Hungary we see the solution to these challenges in the continuous development of education and the birth of more children, and not in bringing illegal immigrants into the country.”

The zero draft of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, an outline negotiated among Member States as a comprehensive approach to global migration, was published a few months ago (the compact on refugees had been made public earlier). The draft document, which refers to migration as a fundamental human right and calls upon member states to reduce the criminalization of illegal border crossing, is at odds with the positions of a number of countries on migration, including the United States, other members of the Visegrád group, Australia, Japan and Hungary. During the discussions, some countries even decided to step away from the negotiations. Hungary, however, has decided to remain part of the conversation to try and shape the outcome, and has put forward a list of 12 points to the president of the UN General Assembly.

Since then, the compact has stirred heated debate not only in the United Nations but also in the European Parliament. EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos recently claimed at a plenary session of the European Parliament that EU Member States should share a common position for the UN talks. As a result, a five-party resolution was adopted that looks at migration as a beneficial process for the economic growth and innovation of the receiving countries. The MEPs backing the resolution asked the EU “to take a leading role” in the UN talks and “to condemn those states that withdrew from the negotiations or successfully watered down the final compact.”

In fact, the European Union hasn’t found a common ground to migration even if Brussels has tried to force its joint EU standpoint. As Hungarian MEP from Transylvania László Tőkés said, we shall not accept a draft that considers global migration as a positive phenomenon or seeks to encourage and organize it. Contrary to the positions proposed in the draft, Hungary looks at migration as a “bad and dangerous” process that needs to be limited and stopped.

In previous remarks to journalists in Budapest, Minister Szijjártó noted the striking coincidence that a week after the Hungarian elections, April 9, George Soros travelled to Brussels to meet the president of the European Commission, which was followed shortly thereafter by the plenary session in the European Parliament that addressed the UN’s migration compact.

The parliamentary debate and adopted resolution, which seeks to define migration as a human right, suggest that Brussels and the UN are pursuing the same goal, said Minister Szijjártó, that illegal migrants may enter Europe. This conflicts with Hungary’s and the Hungarian people’s interests (and, frankly, that of the majority of European citizens). “[W]e continue to reject as strongly as possible the recognition of migration as a human right,” said the Hungarian FM.

In those comments, Szijjártó raised two, challenging questions: If migration has only positive effects, how can it be that in the last two and a half years, 330 people in Europe have died from terror attacks carried out by perpetrators with migrant backgrounds? Why are George Soros and his allies in the European Parliament fighting certain European countries instead of taking action against terrorism? FM Szijjártó challenged the notion that migration is the right answer to demographic and labor market problems and stressed that in Hungary these issues will be solved by Hungarian people and families. “We love our country and will not let others take it,” he said, “nor will any illegal migrant enter Hungary in the future.”