What triggered the immigration crisis in Europe?

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Hungary and the refugee crisis

In connection with the current refugee crisis, the EU member Hungary initially caused astonishment among the other EU states and outrage on the part of human rights organizations through idiosyncratic actions, in particular with the erection of a border fence made of barbed wire, but also through racist statements by its Prime Minister. Hungary was initially seen as the bad guy in Europe when it comes to the treatment of refugees. In view of the ongoing (increasing?) Onslaught of refugees (as of September 25, 2015), other EU member states have also taken restrictive measures; Although no border fences have (so far) been erected, border controls have been reintroduced and batons and other unsightly forms of treatment of people briefly came on the agenda. This also puts the tough Hungarian position on the refugee issue into perspective.
The following is an attempt to make the Hungarian point of view understandable.


  • Beginning of 2011: the beginning of the civil war in Syria, which quickly escalated into an armed conflict and reached international dimensions through direct interference by the USA and the Russian Federation.
    According to the UN (as of July 2015) at least 11.6 million Syrians are on the run, 7 million of them are in Syria, 4.6 million have left the country and are in reception camps in Turkey (approx. 1.9 million), Lebanon (approx. 1.1 million) and Jordan (approx. 0.6 million). More than 270,000 Syrians have applied for asylum in Europe.
  • In 2014, 42 775 asylum applications were made in Hungary; In 2013 it was still 18,895. This corresponds to an increase of 126% and a share of the EU total of 6.8% (5th place). The number of applicants was, based on 1000 inhabitants, 4.3
    (EU rank 2). Most asylum seekers came from Kosovo (50%), followed by Afghanistan (21%) and Syria (16%). 5445 applications were processed, of which 503 were approved. In other words: of the 42 775 asylum applications in 2014, only a fraction could be dealt with; Hungary has become a transit country: most applicants either leave the country unregistered or before their application has been processed.
  • February 2015: Hungary wants to deport refugees "from safe countries of origin and transit" immediately without an asylum procedure.
  • June 2015: Around 67,000 refugees have crossed the Hungarian border since the beginning of the year, three times more than a year ago. The Hungarian government reports that the onslaught can no longer be managed administratively (registration) or humanely and has announced the construction of a barrier in the form of a border fence with barbed wire along the border with Serbia. She is also considering closing his refugee camps and deporting the refugees.
    The EU's protest against the border fence is limited, as it initially has the effect of easing the pressure on the EU member states to immigrate.
  • September 15, 2015: Hungary closes its border with Serbia and announces that Entry into force of the emergency laws against mass immigration in Hungary. From now on, anyone who illegally crosses the border to Hungary (also via Romania and Croatia) is liable to prosecution (the penalty is 1-4 years). Legal entry is only possible at special border crossing points. Refugees from safe transit countries or countries of origin § will be turned away immediately.
    § According to FIDESZ these are in practice all Balkan countries. Practically all refugees are affected.
  • September 15, 2015: Hungary has started to evacuate refugees from the country. For this purpose, special buses and trains were provided to bring refugees to the Austrian border near Nickelsdorf.
  • October 18, 2015: Hungary completes the construction of the border fence along the border with Croatia and closes its border to this country for refugees. As with the construction of the border fence against Serbia, the EU looks on, inactive and impotent.
  • October 25, 2015: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán used the EU refugee summit in Brussels for his grand appearance. In front of the gathered European press, he announced with a swell of pride and not without an unmistakable mockery directed at his political colleagues, especially from the western EU member states, that according to his credo, the refugee chaos along the Balkan route was not a European one, let alone a Hungarian one, but a pure one German problem and that he consequently only participates in Brussels as an observer! It has probably never happened before that a full member of the EU voluntarily downgraded himself to observer status at a meeting of the EU! Strong tobacco and all the more amazing that it was swallowed by the EU with no apparent reaction. This is an alarm signal for me! So we have come so far that the EU tolerates rebels in its ranks!

    The Hungarian position

  • The refugees arrive via the Balkan route Greece - Macedonia - Serbia the Hungarian border. There are two main reasons for the refugee onslaught on Hungary:
    1. According to the Dublin Agreement, the EU state in which a refugee enters for the first time is responsible for the asylum procedure (registration and reception of asylum seekers). From the Hungarian point of view, Greece, by allowing refugees to enter and continue traveling unregistered #, has not complied with the Dublin Agreement and thereby this responsibility de facto deported to Hungary.
    # An estimated 200,000 border crossings into Greece took place between January and August 2015, but only around 6,000 asylum applications were registered.
    2. At the end of August, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees of the FRG announced that it would not apply the Dublin Agreement to refugees from Syria. The rumor spread that the Federal Republic allowed all entry, which in turn started the wave of refugees in the direction of Germany via the Balkan route (i.e. via Hungary).
  • The majority of the refugees who (d) come to Hungary come from the reception camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. They were safe there and therefore come to Europe not as war refugees, but as economic refugees.
    What if it did !? Even if economic refugees are not the subject of the Geneva Refugee Convention, it is still legitimate to look for an economically better life for yourself and your family, especially in a state (e.g. USA) or a community of states (EU) that is supported by your family Contributing (doing nothing) has contributed to the fact that the person concerned has become an economic refugee.

    What fears does Orbán have?
    The (Islamic) supplies from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Ethiopia, Nigeria etc. are endless. If Europe allows uncontrolled immigration, it will perish. Muslims in particular will then be in the majority in Europe in the foreseeable future; Europe will no longer exist as a Christian culture.
    Orbán fails to recognize that the refugees do not come as conquerors but as politically persecuted. You are not only on the run from war but also from political extremism. Experience has shown that these people are very open to integration.

    What is Orbán proposing?
    Massive financial support from the EU to the neighboring countries of Syria (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan) to cope with the refugee situation on site.

    What do the Hungarians think of the refugees?
    According to an opinion poll by the Hungarian institute Tárki, around half of the Hungarians questioned support the Orbán administration's tough stance towards refugees. At the same time, the sympathy of the people can be seen in the television channels, who support the needy at Keleti Ostbahnhof, for example, with donations in kind and other assistance. On our most recent visit to Hungary, we too met only understanding and sympathy for the suffering of the refugees on the part of our friends and acquaintances.

    A certain aversion to the refugees - regardless of their size - can be explained by the following two circumstances:

  • The ruling, national-conservative Fidesz under its Prime Minister Viktor Orbán exploits the refugee crisis for domestic political purposes and spreads a one-sided image of the refugees in the media that it controls - which is not free according to Western criteria. They are portrayed as migrants (i.e. intruders and economic refugees), criminals, Islamist terrorists, even animals, and the danger is evoked that they want to replace the Bible with the Koran. The message to the voters is: Hungary is threatened and only a strong man (Orbán, who can even assert himself against the EU!) Can Hungary save the (ethnic) Hungary! The means is just as clear: stir up fear among the electorate.
  • The experience with foreign powers also plays a profound role in Hungarian history. Around 450 years of their 1100-year history, the Hungarians had to live in bondage - partly through self-inflicted * -: 341 years in bondage (1526-1699 under the Turks; 1699-1867 under the Habsburgs); 51 years in personal union (1867-1918); 36 years in a dictatorship (1919-1944 under Miklós Horthy; 1945-1956 as a satellite under Stalin); 33 years in ideological (communist) custody (1956-1989). To make matters worse is the trauma of the Trianon Peace Treaty in 1920, in which Hungary lost two thirds of its former territory and over 60% of its former population.
    * Hungarian history, especially the phases of bondage, has not yet been dealt with. This results in widespread inferiority complexes in many Hungarians, from which the path to folkish thinking is not far.

    On October 2, 2016, around 8 million Hungarians eligible to vote were asked to vote on the following question:

    Do you want to allow the European Union to determine that non-Hungarian citizens can be resettled in Hungary without the consent of the national parliament?

    I rate the referendum as a shame, not for Hungary but also for the EU. The question alone is stupid, provocative and extremely dangerous. It testifies to Orbán's true character: he likes to officially boast as a defender of European values, but he is de facto not a European, but a nationalist.
    While the outcome of the referendum is given, its validity remains uncertain: the result is only valid if at least 50% of the eligible voters participate in the referendum.
    So that the otherwise political disinterest of the Hungarians does not harm Orbán's referendum, election advertising has been carried out for months in the media and on large election posters in cities and remote towns. There was no sparing use of racist and fear-raising texts, as the following two examples illustrate:

    Did you know that Brussels wants to build an entire city full of illegal immigrants in Hungary?

    Did you know that harassment against women in Europe has increased since the immigration crisis?

    What is Orbán's aim with this referendum?
    First of all, it is a humiliation of the EU and a demonstration of power against the EU and the Hungarian people.
    The question arises as to why Orbán is not leaving the EU instead of his anti-EU policy, like the British. The answer is simple: Hungary cannot do without the abundant flow of EU funds. And since an EU exclusion procedure, as recently called for by Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, is unlikely, Orbán can continue to ignite undisturbed - and now supported by other EU member states - based on traditional, primitive nationalistism.

    Because a country with one language and one habit is weak and perishable. That is why I command you, my son, to protect and cherish the newcomers with goodwill, so that they would rather stay and live with you than anywhere else.

    The first king of Hungary, Stephan I, wrote these words in a testament-like admonition to his son Imre.
    Stephan I is generally considered to be the founder of the Hungarian state: he brought Christianity to Hungary and established a modern state based on the model of the western empires of that time. He was canonized for his services and declared the national saint of Hungary. St. Stephen's Day, the Hungarian national holiday, is celebrated on August 20. Orbán's new Hungarian constitution is ideologically anchored in Saint Stephen and the founding of the state in the 11th century. Orbán's attitude, however, is in clear contradiction to King Stephen's maxim given above; Orbán is thus also acting against his own constitution.

    The referendum: result
    The referendum on October 2nd, 2016 failed!
    It is true that an overwhelming majority of the voters voted NoWhich is not surprising in view of the insidious question, the aggressively waged election campaign and - last but not least - the fact that the Hungarian media are dominated by Orbán and to such an extent that one can actually no longer speak of freedom of the press in Hungary. But: only just under forty percent of those eligible to vote took part in the referendum, which is why the vote is invalid (the Hungarian constitution requires a voter turnout of at least fifty percent for a valid referendum - see above).

    Interesting and revealing for Orbán's attitude is his reaction: he sees himself as a winner and confirmed in his refugee policy. As a next step, he even wants - a defiant reaction (?) - to have the authority of the Hungarian parliament vis-à-vis the EU in matters of refugee influx written into the Hungarian constitution. There is only one explanation for this behavior: it is not the result of the referendum itself, but that of the voters that is in the foreground for Orbán.
    According to preliminary data, around 98% of voters have voted No agreed. This is a result known only from dictatorial states, and if this result has priority for Orbán, then he shows that he thinks like a dictator. In fact, only 40% of those eligible to vote took part in the election; therefore, the proportion of votes against in relation to the total number of eligible voters is around 39%. As a democrat, Orbán should give priority to this result (and draw the conclusions from it).

    The Hungarian Basic Law
    The following are some excerpts from the Hungarian Basic Law relevant to Hungary's refugee policy (source: Pester Lloyd):

  • Article XIV: 3
    Hungary grants non-Hungarian citizens who are persecuted in their home country or in the country of their habitual residence because of their racial affiliation, national affiliation, because of their affiliation to certain social or societal groups, because of their religious or political convictions or if their fear of persecution is well founded , on application and if neither their country of origin nor other countries grant them protection, the right of asylum.
  • Article XV: 2
    Hungary grants every person basic rights without any discrimination, namely regardless of race, skin color, gender, disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, financial situation, birth or other situations.

    Viktor Orbán's ethno-national ideology is in stark contradiction to Article XV: 2 of the Hungarian Basic Law, as it ultimately turns Hungary into an ethnically homogeneous country or - in view of the fact that Hungary is one of the countries with the lowest birth rates belongs - turned into a retirement home, while Article XV: 2 does not allow ethnic homogeneity. Orbán is working on a future for Hungary that not only violates the constitution, but also appears extremely dangerous economically and socio-politically.

    Note: Hungary is not an isolated case. At the moment, the described conditions (contradiction between the multiethnicity anchored in the Basic Law and the political focus on ethnic homogeneity with a simultaneous aging of the population) apply to most Central and Eastern European countries.

    Summary assessment
    Hungary's actions are initially the result of Orbán's domestic policy concession to the right-wing extremist Jobbik party. But there is nothing to excuse and as moral To evaluate the bankruptcy of his political and ecclesiastical leadership. Nevertheless, it essentially does not violate applicable EU law! Hungary is a member state of the EU and has never tired of pointing out that it does not violate EU law. The reactions from the EU also show that this assessment is correct: they were half-hearted; No sanctions or punitive measures were threatened. The Hungarian fence, for example, was reprimanded, but basically welcomed by the northern and central European EU states, as it also took the pressure off their borders. The (previous) summit of agreement was Seehofer's invitation to Orbán.

    Indeed, the Hungarian move is nothing more than the logical consequence of the EU's selfish asylum policy. She is selfish in two ways:

  • first, their own interests are in the foreground; the EU is not concerned with protecting refugees. Your goal is to yourself in front Protect refugees.
  • Second, the interests of the northern and central European EU states are in the foreground: they only have the goal of keeping up the pressure on the EU states at the external borders with regard to responsibility for refugees.

    The cornerstone of the EU's asylum policy and the root of this egoism is the so-called Dublin procedure - not least once enforced by Germany - (a new edition of the old riddle: "Who came first: the egg or the chicken?" was there first: the Dublin procedure or selfishness? ").
    The Dublin procedure regulates which state is responsible for processing an asylum application within the EU and states that a refugee must apply for asylum in the EU state that he entered first. In addition, whoever lets refugees into the EU is also responsible for them.

    From the refugees' point of view, the Dublin Treaty has the following fatal consequences:
    The current flow of refugees into the EU is via the Mediterranean or the Aegean Sea or by land via Turkey. The refugees therefore reach the EU via Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece and Bulgaria, i.e. countries that are economically and logistically unable to cope with the onslaught of refugees in accordance with EU guidelines. The result: the refugees are waved through, i.e. not registered or interned or even brutally repulsed. Those who entered via Greece reached the Hungarian border (until September 15, 2015; see above) via Macedonia and Serbia. With this, Hungary suddenly became a state on the EU's external border under the Dublin Regulation and was therefore responsible for the refugees if they were allowed to enter. But Hungary is also a poor country compared to the northern and central European countries, and it reacted to the huge influx of refugees like the EU countries on the EU's external border before: the reception camps are overcrowded, the conditions are inhuman, and applications are made not processed, refugees waved through, interned or brutally fended off. It also built a border fence (see above).

    The alternative (s)

  • PRO ASYL, together with other organizations, has called for the Dublin Treaty to be suspended and for asylum seekers to be free of movement in the choice of Member State. Refugees should receive transit documents at the EU external borders for the journey to the EU country of their choice.
    In practice, the refugee's choice of asylum country is already taking place today: the majority try to find their way to the country where they expect decent reception conditions. Nevertheless, the EU is closing itself to this practice and has not yet taken up the PRO ASYL initiative. Instead, she continues to plan according to old dreams marked by isolation from refugees and national egoism. She is currently discussing various quota models, but they are all a game of chance from the refugees' point of view: the probability of winning the big ticket (being assigned to the desired state) remains low. Little would change in the current wandering of people seeking protection through Europe.
  • In practice, the Dublin procedure makes it impossible for a refugee to fly to Berlin from a third country (e.g. Jordan) and apply for asylum there. Airlines are not allowed to fly refugees from third countries to an EU country without a visa. If this obstacle were removed, smugglers would be put to work in one fell swoop! The plane ticket - including a return ticket - is always cheaper than paying to the smugglers.
    A proposal from Great Britain to be able to apply for asylum outside the borders of the EU was rejected by the EU Commission.

    Updated on December 29, 2016

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