‘Fences protect Europe’, Orban says ahead of EU migration summit
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday (7 February) called for European Union financing for border fences, reviving an idea long seen as inadmissible ahead of a summit of the bloc’s leaders to discuss curbing irregular immigration.
EU states are bitterly split over sharing out the task of caring for refugees on their soil, and have for years focused on tightening their external borders to prevent people from arriving through unofficial – and often deadly – routes.
In a call ahead of the summit with his Polish, Belgian, Finnish, Maltese and Bulgarian counterparts, Orbán called for EU financing for such projects, saying that “fences protect all of Europe”, according to his press chief quoted by state news agency MTI.
The EU says Syrians, Afghans and Tunisians dominated among those arriving last year, and that only about a third of the people would get asylum, while the rest should be sent away.
Unfit for purpose: EU migration system in crisis
As the migration crisis continues to simmer across Europe, EU leaders at a special summit on 9 February are expected to focus on increasing migrant returns rather than seek a comprehensive solution.
The Brief — A patchwork migration policy
Migration will feature high on the agenda of the Special European Council on Thursday and Friday (9-10 February), where EU leaders will also discuss Ukraine and the economy.