We don't want to become a country of immigrants – Hungarian Parliament adopts declaration three days after Pope Francis' visit

May 03. 2023. – 02:42 PM


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At Sunday's Mass in Budapest, Pope Francis asked the faithful to open the doors, to become open doors like Jesus. "It is sad and painful to see closed doors: the closed doors of our selfishness before those we pass day after day; the closed doors of our individualism in a society that threatens to leave many people to languish in solitude; the closed doors of our indifference towards those who suffer and live in poverty; the closed doors towards those who are strangers, different, refugees, or poor," the head of the Catholic Church said.

Two days after the mass, the MPs of the Christian Democratic Party (KDNP) submitted a political declaration rejecting migration, which the National Assembly voted on in an emergency procedure on Wednesday. The declaration was adopted by 143 votes in favour, 10 against and 23 abstentions.

The document proposes that Hungary should join the Post-Cotonou agreement. The strategic agreement between the EU and 79 countries concerned has so far been blocked by the Hungarian government due to the issues of migration and gender. However, after the government received "adequate guarantees regarding its concerns about the earlier draft of the Post-Cotonou Agreement", KDNP now suggests that Hungary join the agreement.

"We don't want to become a country of immigrants"

- the statement just adopted by the National Assembly says, adding that migration must be stopped and the countries of origin must be helped locally.

"In order to protect the constitutional identity and Christian culture of our country, migration must be stopped, the borders must be protected and the countries of origin must be assisted locally." The text also declares that the Hungarian Parliament welcomes all international initiatives aimed at helping people in difficult situations stay at home, or return there and prosper in their homeland.

It also states that Hungary protects the family and the right of parents to choose the upbringing of their children. "We will not allow the parents' right to raise their children to be questioned, we will protect children from propaganda aimed at weakening their identity and we reject all such ideologies," the KDNP MPs who tabled the proposals stated.

The declaration states that immigration and child protection are central to the identity and self-determination of every state.

"We reject all attempts to use these issues, whether regarding Hungary or any other country, for pressuring, blackmailing, connecting them to other issues, as well as making any kind of support conditional upon them".

The declaration also welcomes any initiative that rejects the proposals in multilateral documents and agreements that encourage migration or call for interference in the education of children.

Szijjártó: The agreement made with Africa shouldn't be about Africans coming to Europe

In March, the Presidents of the Joint Assembly of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) and the European Union called for the early renewal of the agreement between the two blocs, which has been blocked by Hungary.

The group of 79, predominantly low-income countries has been the subject of successive agreements – named after the place they were signed – with the EU's predecessor since 1963. This is one of the earliest foundations of the EU's current foreign and development policy. The strategic agreement would replace the previous, very similar 20-year treaty. The agreement aims to bring the EU and ACP countries together to respond to global challenges such as democracy and human rights, climate change and migration.

The new treaty was negotiated as long ago as 2021, but it needs the agreement of all EU member states to be signed and, as it has been reported, Hungary opposed it. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó explained the decision by saying that he believes the agreement would "allow more migrants into the EU" and that "we are not adding our name to it, because all of our proposals have been swept off the table".

The Foreign Minister believes that the way to keep Africans at home is through improvements in security, economy and healthcare.

“The agreement with Africa shouldn't be about Africans coming to Europe, but about Africans staying in Africa.”

However, according to an EUrologus article from last year, the signatories pledge to fight illegal immigration and to readmit their own citizens without further delay.

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