OREANDA-NEWS. The mandatory distribution of refugees among the Member States with a view to resolving the migration crisis is an issue of such gravity that the opinion of the people and European societies cannot be avoided. It gives rise to major concern if the people’s opinion can be swept off the table, Szabolcs Takács stated in Brussels on Tuesday.

Mr Takács, the State Secretary responsible for EU affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office said after the meeting of the ministers of EU Member States responsible for European affairs that the people must be consulted with respect to the mandatory quotas and the EU’s migration policy. He expressed hope that there is no „thought monopoly” in Europe, and that solidarity need not be construed by everyone in a uniform manner.

In his view, a Member State can show its solidarity in a number of ways. Hungary has done a great deal for Europe as it is protecting not only the Hungarian people, but the whole of Europe and the regime of free movement within Europe which is one of the greatest achievements of the EU, the State Secretary said.

In this context, Mr Takács pointed out that Hungary expects the European Commission to implement its own plan which it formerly adopted with respect to the reinstatement of the Schengen borders. In the interest of avoiding „even bigger problems”, all Member States participating in the Schengen cooperation (without internal border controls) which introduced temporary border controls within the area earlier should return to the comprehensive application of the body of Schengen regulations without compromises, he underlined.

He highlighted that Hungary supports the efforts of the EU and the Member States regarding the protection of the community’s external borders. In addition to providing EU support for Bulgaria which is resisting the formidable pressure of migration, these efforts include the setting up of a joint border and coast guard force within the shortest possible time, and the sharing among the Member States of the data of all citizens – not only EU nationals – exiting and entering the external borders.

At the same time, he pointed out that „Hungary cannot accept that Brussels only thinks in terms of the mandatory quotas”. While Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission appeared to suggest in a speech last week that the distribution of refugees among the Member States may be voluntary, the European Commission has not abandoned the intention to introduce this scheme on a mandatory basis, he stated.

He said that the Visegrád countries (V4) perceive flexible solidarity with the EU’s migration policy not solely as participation in or refusal of the distribution of migrants on the basis of mandatory quotas. Solidarity has a number of layers and elements; it should not be viewed through a single approach, but its expression and implementation should be construed in a broader context.

The Visegrád countries took their share of the common burdens by having sent police personnel to Slovenia and provided assistance of a different nature for Bulgaria and Macedonia without EU grants. The systematic protection of the southern borders is an important element of Hungary’s solidarity and involvement in the EU’s migration policy, and as a result, the pressure of migration on Germany has decreased significantly, he added.

In his view, the EU must recognise that Hungary’s practice is not only compliant, but with its measures it protects the whole of Europe, the security of EU citizens, and the cultural and religious identity which created Europe and which has characterised it for centuries.