Thursday

12th Dec 2019

Hungary steps up campaign on migration referendum

  • Hungary was the first EU state to slam shut its borders to migrants (Photo: Michael Gubi)

Hungary's government has stepped up its campaign in a referendum on EU migration quotas, unveiling billboards linking migration with terrorism and crime.

"Did you know? The Paris attacks were committed by migrants," claimed one billboard recently published on the government's website, set up ahead of the 2 October vote.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Another billboard asks: "Did you know that since the start of the migration crisis there has been a sharp increase in the number of harassments against women in Europe?"

"Did you know that Brussels wants to deport the equivalent of a town of migrants to Hungary?" asks another billboard.

According to a previous EU agreement, which Hungary has challenged at the EU's top court, the country should have taken in around 1,200 refugees.

In all, six billboards have been unveiled, with one of them asking: "Did you know that since that start of the migration crisis 300 people have died in terrorist attacks in Europe?"

The question to eight million Hungarian voters on 2 October will be: “Do you want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament?”

Government official Bence Tuzsor said the aim of the campaign was "to draw attention to the consequences of the failed migration policy of Brussels".

The adverts will also appear in newspapers, online media, in television and radio commercials, he added in the same interview with Hungarian news wire MTI on Monday (18 July).

The referendum on EU migration policy was first announced by the Hungarian government in February.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz has earlier dismissed the referendum, saying the ballot is “populist and nationalist response to a global challenge.”

The European Commission said the referendum's result would not have legal consequences for EU's policies. "The decision making process agreed to by all EU Member States and as enshrined in the treaties in any case remains the same," the bloc's executive said.

Stakes grow in Hungary's migration referendum

Orban's referendum on migration in October is designed to alter EU policy and boost his popularity. But in the post-Brexit climate it could mark a bigger anti-EU swerve.

UN concerned by Hungary's migrant push-backs

UN refugee agency has voiced concerns over new Hungarian rules leading to push-backs of asylum seekers and urged authorities to investigate reports of violence.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs protest against PM Babis over EU subsidy 'fraud'
  2. EU disbursed €2.7bn for Turkey refugees
  3. UK ports set to host EU border checks for Northern Ireland
  4. EU puts tech giants in crosshairs
  5. Faroe Islands under pressure to chose Huawei
  6. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  7. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  8. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'

Wilmès becomes first female PM of Belgium

On Sunday, Sophie Wilmès was appointed as the new prime minister of Belgium - becoming the first female head of government in the country's history. She replaces Charles Michel who becomes president of the European Council.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Leaders to battle on climate target and money at summit
  2. Von der Leyen: 'Green Deal is our man-on-moon moment'
  3. North Atlantic mini states in geopolitical turbulence
  4. Survey marks EU optimism on eve of UK's Brexit election
  5. Six priorities for human rights
  6. European shipping's dirty secret
  7. Hungary quizzed over EU rules amid twitter row
  8. Spanish King meets party leaders to break deadlock

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us