Hungary won’t give in to pressure from pro-migration forces

Alvaro Peñas

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, was established in 2004 to help the EU Member States and Schengen partner countries to protect the external borders of the EU free movement area. In Spain, it is present in the Canary Islands, where seven agents arrived in November 2020 that became 28 in December due to migratory pressure. Frontex is headquartered in Warsaw and is funded by the EU budgets and contributions from Schengen partner countries, reaching EUR 420.6 million (34.6% more than in 2019) by 2020. Frontex’s importance is not only reflected in the increase in its budget, the organization is one of the European Union’s priorities and its staff is expected to move from the current 1,000 troops to 10,000 in the coming years.

But on 27 January, Frontex joined the endless political struggle of Brussels against Viktor Orbán’s government. Its spokesman, Chris Borowski, announced that “Frontex has decided to suspend its operational activities in Hungary. Our common efforts to protect the EU’s external borders can only succeed if we ensure that our cooperation and activities are fully in line with EU laws”. Borowski referred to the judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of 17 December 2020, which condemned Hungary for forcing migrants back into Serbia (2,346 according to official data). The ECJ’s ruling states that, by forcing asylum seekers across the fence a few meters from the Hungarian-Serbian border, Hungarian police authorities are forcing migrants to a strip of land where no infrastructure is available and violating EU law and international law, as in practice migrants have no choice but to leave Hungary and leave for Serbia without the possibility of legal recourse. Borowski also pointed out that the joint operations could resume immediately once the Hungarian authorities comply with the court ruling, until then the 20 Frontex agents stationed in Hungary will be sent to the frontier of nearby countries.

Frontex’s decision comes after a campaign launched on 18 January by the Hungarian branch of the NGO Helsinki Committee, one of many organisations funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF). The NGO, which accuses the Hungarian government of having made 50,000 returns since 2016, asked Frontex to reconsider “its collaboration with Hungarian police that maintains an infringing practice”. The influence of this campaign should not be underestimated. In February 2020, Grégor Puppinck and Delphine Loiseau presented a report showing that, between 2009 and 2019, at least 22 judges out of the 100 who served in the European Court of Human Rights were former members or collaborators of seven NGOs, the OSF and six others financed by it, including the Helsinki Committee.

Borowski’s announcement has also been to the liking of Brussels’ elite. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson wrote on Twitter: “After December’s European Court of Justice ruling demanding Hungary stop pushbacks into Serbia, the suspension of Frontex border operations in Hungary is welcomed”.

The Hungarian government’s response has been immediate. Justice Minister Judit Varga noted that Hungary had so far complied with all the rules. “Ironically, while European countries are fighting and closing their borders to protect their own citizens against a thus-far unknown pandemic, they expect Hungary to idly let crowds of migrants overrun Europe. Our goal is to protect our country”.

Varga also noted that, according to international standards, Serbia is a safe country, meaning that illegal migrants to Hungary returned to the Balkan country are not in any danger. “Serbia is not simply a safe country but an EU-candidate, with which we are conducting talks for full membership. In these hard times, when people’s lives are at stake, objective and unbiased reports are especially needed”.

Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, responded to Frontex’s withdrawal on behalf of the Hungarian government: “It seems Brussels wants to take away even the little bit we did get. Hungary won’t give in to pressure from pro-migration forces. We will continue to defend the Hungarian people and the country and the EU’s borders. We hope this is not a sign that some want to withhold funds from those countries that insist on protecting borders”. The reference to Hungary and Poland’s recent negotiations with the EU is not mis-referred to. Withdrawal of Frontex, a security force that is also funded by the Magyar country, is a clear sign that the agreement signed in December was nothing more than a temporary truce. A truce that Brussels globalists, Soros network NGOs and the major media at their service are determined to bury.

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