Friday

15th Feb 2019

EU should kick out Hungary, says Luxembourg minister

  • Asselborn: Expelling Hungary would be "the only possibility to preserve the cohesion and the values" of the EU. (Photo: Council of the EU)

Hungary should be excluded from the EU, Luxembourg's foreign minister Jean Asselborn has said.

Ejecting Hungary is "the only possibility to preserve the cohesion and the values" of the EU, he said in an interview to German daily Die Welt, published on Tuesday (13 September), three days before a EU leaders summit about the bloc's future without the UK.

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

"We cannot accept that the basic values of the European Union are massively violated," he said.

He said any state that "builds fences against war refugees, or who hurts press freedom and independence of judiciary, must be excluded for the EU temporarily or for ever if needed".

In Hungary, he said, refugees are "treated as wild animals".

He added that Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has "put the EU in trouble" by showing the world it cannot apply at home the values it defends abroad.

Asselborn, a Social Democrat and the longest-serving foreign minister in the EU, said the bloc could not accept "such misconduct".

He said it would be "helpful" if EU rules could be changed to allow the suspension of a member state without unanimity.

Currently there is no clause that allows the expulsion of a member state.

A country's voting rights can be suspended in case of "serious and persistent breach" of EU values. The decision requires unanimity from other member states.

Asselborn said that today, Hungary would "have no chance" of joining the EU.

At the end of August, Orban announced that Hungry would erect a "more massive" fence at its borders to stop migrants coming in. A first one was built last year at the borders with Serbia and Croatia.

 Orban, a strong critic of EU migration policies, has warned many times that migration will destroy Europe's identity.

Referendum

"Europe will no longer be recognisable" if it lets in many Muslim migrants with a higher birth rate, he said again to Hungarian MPs on Monday.

Orban has organised a referendum on migration that will be held on 2 October. Voters will be asked if they "want the European Union to be entitled to prescribe the mandatory settlement of non-Hungarian citizens in Hungary without the consent of parliament”.

On Monday, the leader of Hungary's far-right Jobbik party, which in the past has supported his government, said Orban would have to resign if turnout to the referendum is low.

A 50 percent turnout is necessary to validate the vote.

"You hope to score political points with this game of hazard which could end up hurting the entire country," Gabor Vona told Orban in parliament.

"If the referendum is invalid, you have to resign because you led Hungary into a battle you lost."

Hungary steps up campaign on migration referendum

Hungary's government has unveiled six billboards linking the migration crisis to terrorism and crime in an effort to win backing for its referendum on the EU's migration policy.

Orban spins migrant vote result, as EU celebrates

Hungarians have rejected xenophobia with their resounding no-show to Viktor Orban's referendum on Sunday, according to European politicians. But the prime minister claims the vote has validated his battle with Brussels.

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