08:25 GMT +325 May 2019
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    New EU Commission Should Not Punish States Over Border Protection - Budapest

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Hungary believes that the new European Commission, to be elected in May, should change its stance on the migration issue, in particular, by ending its condemnation of countries which insist they are protecting their respective borders from migrants, Hungarian government's International Communications Office told Sputnik.

    "In our opinion the EU needs a European Commission in the future which does not penalise the countries which protect their borders," the office said in a statement, stressing that the Hungarian government did not intend to call for replacing the current commission at the next meeting of the European Council, but talked about commission to be elected.

    The office pointed out that the migration issue did not fall within the capacity of the EU Commission, but rather that of individual nations, and the Hungarian government believed that it should remain as such.

    "However, it does not exclude the possibility of a common European solution of the migration crisis, but such a solution must be based on the will of the European people," the statement read.

    Hungary has long been critical of the European Union's open-door policy, initially introduced at the onset of the migration crisis, and opposed the mandatory migrant relocation quotas. Budapest’s stance prompted the European Commission to launch its first infringement procedure against Hungary over its asylum legislation in December 2015.

    READ MORE: Hungary Unlikely to Abandon Tough Stance on Migration Despite EU Pressure – MP

    Over recent months, Hungary has come under intense criticism due to its new so-called Stop Soros law, which banned non-governmental organizations from providing aid to undocumented migrants.

    The controversial legislation is part of the policy against EU migration regulations and Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros, who proposed a plan to address Europe’s refugee crisis and urged the member states to keep their borders open for documented migrants.

    On July 19, the European Commission referred Budapest to the Court of Justice of the European Union over legislation criminalizing help to undocumented migrants, which the commission argued did not comply with EU law.


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