Finance Minister Mihály Varga has requested the reimbursement of the costs of Hungarian border protection from the the European Union budget in a letter addressed to EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
In a missive addressed to European Commissioner for Budget and Administration on Thursday, the Hungarian Minister of Finance recalled that there is a long-standing consensus that the defence of the European Union’s borders is a collective responsibility of the member states. The essence of the original legislative concept was that member states located at the external borders of the community would finance border protection from EU funds. However, the migration crisis has resulted in a situation where the original legislative intent is not fully realized, he articulated.
Since 2015, Hungary has thwarted one million illegal border crossings along its southern, Schengen border. The migration pressure is steadily increasing again, with Hungarian border guards taking action against 100,000 illegal migrants just this year. All this imposes a growing burden on the national budget: while since the outbreak of the migration crisis, Hungary has allocated over 1.6 billion euros for border protection, the EU contribution barely exceeds one per cent of these costs, the Minister of Finance reminded.
Responding to the intensification of migration, Hungary has adapted to the changed circumstances and successfully halted illegal immigration. Hungary fulfils its commitments, currently
safeguarding the entire European Union against illegal immigration,
asserted Varga, adding that it would be fair and just if the European Commission acknowledged these efforts and financed an appropriate share of the increased costs of Hungary’s Schengen border protection tasks.
He also drew the attention of the EU Commissioner to Hungary’s historical role in safeguarding Europe’s borders on numerous occasions. As a member of the European Union, Hungary continues to do the same, the minister reminded. In the cities of Europe, people now experience public security challenges related to migration on a daily basis. Along the Hungarian borders, the use of firearms by migrants has become a routine occurrence, he Minister Varga highlighted.
Therefore, border protection is becoming increasingly crucial, even from the perspective of the residents of the EU’s major cities. ‘In the spirit of common cost bearing and in light of the new tasks, we consider it reasonable to expect that the available resources shall also be modified. The aim of my letter is to call your attention to a lack of such modification,’ Mihály Varga concluded.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI