Tuesday

21st Aug 2018

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days 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. Italy threatens to return migrants to Libya
  2. MEP accuses Maltese government of 'hate campaign'
  3. EU values not negotiable, German FM tells Poland
  4. Audit warns 840 French bridges at risk of collapse
  5. Fashion king pours money into campaign for second Brexit vote
  6. Germany could aid Turkey, SPD leader hints
  7. UK government set to publish no-deal Brexit advice
  8. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants

Opinion

While Poles defend courts, Kaczynski hijacks EU elections

While Twitter and EU bubble publications are flooded with photos of protesting crowds and "chains of light" in front of the presidential palace, the Law and Justice-controlled senate has adopted a law restructuring the electoral code for 2019's European elections.

EU Commission skirts Italy sanctions on Roma evictions

The European Commission, as guardian of the treaties, declines to sanction Italy's treatment of the Roma following a forced eviction on Thursday of some 300 from a camp in the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. Wind delays launch of European wind-mapping satellite
  2. Greece 'normal' again after end of crisis, EU says
  3. Putin strikes blow against Russia's isolation by Europe
  4. EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo
  5. Greece exits bailouts, but difficult path ahead
  6. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  7. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  8. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us