May’s elections to the European Parliament could be fatefully decisive and migration will be Europe’s defining isssue in next years to come
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, at a major international press conference on Thursday, named immigration as the defining issue of the next 15-20 years in Europe, arguing that the population growth rates of Africa and Asia were higher than their population retention rates. He also pointed out, the elections to the European Parliament in May will be a great opportunity for Europeans to voice their opinions.
He said that Hungary’s goal is for anti-immigration forces to form a majority in every institution within the EU’s institutional system: first in the European Parliament (EP); later in the European Commission; and later still – after national parliamentary elections – in the European Council.
In his view, migration will not simply be the main issue in the EP elections, but an issue which will transform the whole of European politics from its foundations upward. The conventional division of parties into those of the Right and of the Left will be replaced with a division between those which are pro-immigration and those which are anti-immigration. He also underlined that:
The debate on migration is also reshaping our approach to Christianity and elevating the protection of Christian culture almost to the level of a political obligation.
According to Mr. Orbán, the debate on immigration is likewise reshaping the debate on sovereignty, as the supporters of immigration do not respect the decisions of those who do not want to take in migrants. He said that migration will be the greatest and most fatefully decisive issue of the next fifteen to twenty years in Europe,
“As the population growth in Africa and Asia is outpacing the capacity of those continents to sustain such populations.”
The Prime Minister stressed that Hungary can pride itself on having been the first country to prove that migration on land can be stopped, and for a long time not a single maritime country had tried to do the same. Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini was the first to claim that this is possible, said the Prime Minister, who therefore sees Mr. Salvini as a hero, for whom he wishes much success.
Migration profoundly transforming European policies
The Prime Minister said that migration has already profoundly changed the future of Europe, and that now there are countries where a mixed civilisation is already an inevitability, with the issue of co-existence being the only one that can be discussed.
He predicted that today’s unitary European civilisation will be replaced with two different civilisations: a mixed civilisation building its future on the co-existence of Islam and Christianity; and the Central European people, “who continue to envisage Europe as a Christian civilisation”.
In Western Europe migration is already an issue of co-existence, he explained; but that is not yet the case in Central Europe, where the debate is about how to prevent the development of a situation like the one now seen in Western Europe.
Mr. Orbán stressed that the two regions have completely different concerns, and that migration has driven them far apart from each other. Now, he said, the question is how, having chosen such different futures, they can remain united.
He said that migration is dismantling the structure of the European Union, as the debate on immigration also lies behind Brexit.
Migrant issue points beyond the borders of Europe
Mr. Orbán mentioned his visit to Brazil a few days ago, highlighting that the migration debate extends beyond the borders of Europe. In his view, if the election message of the newly inaugurated President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro is transposed into Hungarian, it becomes
“Hungary before everything, and God above all.”
In another reply he said that Hungarians take an illiberal stance on the most important issues, such as immigration, the family and Christian culture.
The future of the country lies in families, Orbán said.
A total of 1.382 million questionnaires have been returned in the government’s “national consultation” survey about family protection. The participation rate was the third highest among all past “national consultations” which shows that the situation of families, the willingness to have children and demographics are important issues not only to the government but to the whole of the country, Orbán told the international press conference.