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Index – Economy – Brussels closes the door on the government again, and Mihaly Varga takes an unprecedented step in response

Index – Economy – Brussels closes the door on the government again, and Mihaly Varga takes an unprecedented step in response

The story goes back to December, when Finance Minister Mihálj Varga wrote an official letter to Johannes Hahn, Commissioner responsible for Budget and Administration of the European Commission: “The protection of the EU’s common borders is based on a consensus dating back many decades. The core of the legislative idea was The original is that member states located on the external borders of the Community provide border protection from joint financing. The Prime Minister emphasized:

The migration crisis has now led to a situation in which this intention has not been fully realised.

Since 2015, Hungary has thwarted one million illegal border crossings in the southern part of the country's Schengen border. Migration pressure is increasing. This year alone, Hungarian border guards have taken action against 100,000 illegal immigrants. All this places an increasing burden on the national budget: while Since the outbreak of the migration crisis and the writing of Varga's previous letter (until approximately last December), Hungary has spent more than 1.6 billion euros on border protection, with the EU's contribution to these costs barely exceeding 1 percent. Mihaly Varga regularly draws attention to this.

We will consider it fair and equitable for the European Commission to recognize this effort and take an appropriate share in financing the increased costs of Schengen border protection tasks in Hungary.

The minister said. The Minister of Finance stressed that Hungary has protected Europe's borders countless times throughout its history. “Nowadays, as a member of the European Union, we do the same. In major cities in Europe, we can now face public security challenges related to migration on a daily basis.”

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Mihaly Varga: See it with your own eyes!

Last October, Mihaly Varga warned everyone about the state of accounting for the costs of border protection: “We have asked Brussels several times to take into account that countries like Hungary are making serious efforts to reduce illegal immigration. If this money arrives, it will reduce the budget deficit by about a point.” One cent.

On Monday, in response to questions from Index, the head of the ministry said: “In December, I wrote a letter to the EU Budget Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, in order for the EU to contribute more to the costs of border protection in Hungary. According to our calculations, 700 billion were spent Hungarian forint has been involved in border protection since the migrant crisis began in 2015, while the EU contribution barely exceeds 1 percent so the amount continues to grow.

That is why Mihaly Varga has now invited the EU Budget Commissioner to the southern border.

“The Hungarian government’s intention on this matter is also consistent and clear: we expect a greater contribution from Brussels to the costs of border protection,” the Finance Minister concluded in his paper, also emphasizing that the government has been regularly calling on the European Commission to settle the costs of border protection for years.

Mihaly Varga then said, in response to our newspaper's question about the response he received to his previous letter: According to the response letter

That is why Johannes Hahn called for the southern border: “Personally see the efforts of the soldiers, police and border hunters serving on the Hungarian border, and about the effectiveness of the Hungarian border protection system.”

They do not keep their previous promise

In February last year, we wrote that migration was a prominent topic in negotiations in Brussels at the time. Brussels then promised large sums of money to protect the border. At the time, everyone was preoccupied with the fact that Viktor Orbán wanted to increase the fence to five metres, but it was at least as important that Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said after the meeting that the European Commission had agreed to provide new resources to protect the border. Therefore, countries such as Bulgaria, for example, will be able in the near future to develop their border defense with funding from the European Union.

This also includes developing the border fence – even if EU politicians don't want to say they'll give money for it, he said.

According to Politico, the European Commission has promised a total of about 3 billion euros to develop border protection. Of this amount, Bulgaria alone will need $2 billion in order to strengthen its common border with Turkey – and in addition, Hungary, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Greece are waiting for the same amount of $3 billion.

It is also worth noting that the Prime Minister has already written a letter to the President of the European Commission in 2021 requesting an EU contribution to the costs of the border fence. At that time, Viktor Orban again invited the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to…

According to the government, these measures have recently become a model in many European countries and, in addition, herald a more serious migration crisis than the one experienced in 2015. Mihaly Varga said in all current forums: The Hungarian government expects a greater contribution from Brussels to the costs. Border protection.

(Cover photo: Mihaly Varga on December 13, 2023. Photo: Kata Nemeth/Index)