Sunday

17th Feb 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 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. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Opinion

Italy will keep blinking in 2019

Italy's 'marriage of convenience' coalition government likes picking battles with Brussels. But with the economy now in recession, and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini needing to keep the business lobby on board, expect Rome to blink first.

Opinion

The test for Sweden's new government

While the formation of a new government ends Sweden's fourth-month paralysis, it doesn't resolve the challenge from radical-right populists in Sweden. A key question remains: will treating populists like pariahs undercut the appeal of their, often anti-rights, politics?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  2. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  4. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  6. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  7. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”

Latest News

  1. Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table
  2. Could Finnish presidency fix labour-chain abuse?
  3. Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK
  4. Belgian spy scandal puts EU and Nato at risk
  5. EU Parliament demands Saudi lobby transparency
  6. Saudi Arabia, but not Russia, on EU 'dirty money' list
  7. EU agrees draft copyright reform, riling tech giants
  8. Rutte warns EU to embrace 'Realpolitik' foreign policy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us