Hungary Today, June 14, 2023
EU interior ministers recently adopted a proposal to implement a migrant quota – the distribution of illegal immigrants between EU Member States. In a not surprising turn of events, not everyone agrees with the proposal, and Poland has raised the possibility of a referendum on the issue.
Jacek Karnowski, editor-in-chief of wpolityce.pl, said that Poles deserve a referendum on the compulsory resettlement of illegal immigrants in the EU, reports Origo. According to him, this could even take place at the same time as the elections, as the only possible date for this, he says, is the day of the Polish parliamentary elections.
Karnowski also stressed that
the mandatory quota is not just about 2,000 immigrants, but about opening up a channel through which up to 200,000 or even 2 million illegal immigrants could be resettled in Poland in the future.
Poland and Hungary are both opposed to the introduction of the migrant quota. Under the proposal, each EU Member State would be responsible for a certain number of migrants, but would not necessarily have to take them in. Countries that are not willing to take in illegal migrants and refugees arriving in the EU could help financially – around €22,000 per person – or with equipment or staff.
According to politicians and experts, the new proposal is like an invitation letter for smugglers and migrants.
In the case of Hungary, the country should take in around 8,500 migrants a year, but the admissions could also be exchanged for money. This would mean a burden of almost 300 billion forints (EUR 814 million) over four years for Hungary if all 8,500 people a year were to be turned away.
The idea of a migrant quota was first mooted at the start of the migration crisis in 2015.
The Hungarian government rejected the idea of mandatory distribution at the time, and a referendum on the issue was held in October 2016 – similar to the one the Polish editor suggested.
The referendum asked Hungarians whether they agreed with the European Union to impose the compulsory resettlement of non-Hungarians in Hungary without the consent of Parliament.
Though the referendum was technically invalid, as less than half of those eligible to vote cast a valid ballot, it is worth pointing out that more than 98% of those who voted (3.3. million people) said ‘NO’ to the migrant quotas.