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#LaRéplique. Orban launches media campaign on migrants against Juncker and Soros: « Let’s stop Brussels! »

The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban launched a media campaign on Facebook against the American investor and philanthropist George Soros and the President of the European commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The Hungarian prime minister accused them to “encourage illegal immigration and to undermine the country’s borders”.

The European commission has reacted by calling “shocking” that “such ridiculous theories have become mainstream”. Natasha Bertaud, Juncker’s spokesperson, declared at Il Sole 24 Ore that “the Juncker Commission is committed against misinformation and fake news and this case is no exception. Hungarians deserve facts, not fictions. The EU supports and does not weaken national border protection. There is no plan for « humanitarian visas ». Members states decide to what extent they accept legal immigration”.

The anti-EU campaign (financed with public money)

The relationship between Orban and Juncker has been tense since the European summit held in 2015, when the President of the European commission greeted the Hungarian leader calling him “dictator.

Subsequently, the same relations between EU and Hungary have further cooled, above all because of the internal political choices of the Hungarian government and of the European migration policy, not shared by Hungary.

During a press conference held on February 15, 2019, a government spokesman explained that he wanted to tell the truth to Hungarian citizens. According to him, “the elites in Brussels are planning some measures to loosen access control and facilitate migratory flows. Everyone has the right to know the current proposal that fundamentally endanger the security of Hungary”.

Among the cases mentioned are the introduction of mandatory quotas for all EU countries, the granting of visas and money to asylum seekers, the financing of the organisations that support the flows, the “penalisation of countries that do not want immigration”, perhaps alluding to the hypothesis of sanctions against Member states opposed to distribution of migrants.

European commission’s reaction

The European commission denounced the Facebook poster as a “ludicrous conspiracy theory”. “Against lies there is not much that can be done. I proposed the withdrawal of Fidesz (from the European People’s Party), the party of Viktor Orban, because I think that the conservatives in Hungary do not represent Christian-democrats values .This is not common ground between me and Mr. Orban », replied Juncker while speaking at a public meeting in Stuttgart, Germany, on February 19.

The Hungarian prime minister and his Fidesz party will be on the agenda of the EPP political assembly on 20 March. The purpose of this event is to approve the group’s manifesto before European parliament elections in May. The Hungarian leader is facing a backlash and risks being expelled after his government launched the anti-EU campaign against the European commission leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also in the EPP. The EPP is Europe’s most powerful political force, with the highest number of seats in the European parliament and nine EU leaders among its ranks.

The executive body of the EU quickly denied the various theories spread by the Hungarian government. The first clarification concerns the quota mechanism that would be imposed, according to Hungary, voluntarily: “As regards the relocation of asylum seekers, it has always been carried on a voluntary basis. Hungary was asked to show solidarity with member states by accepting a very limited number of refugees (1294 people). Hungary did not accept it”.

The Commission also replied to the accusation of wanting to weaken the EU borders by mentioning the proposal to deploy ten thousand agents on the borders, the repatriation of irregularities and some agreements established with many countries, above all Turkey. The Commission has no plan to propose a new legislation on the so-called “humanitarian visas”.

Flavio Mastrorillo


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DW. EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker slams Viktor Orban over Soros migrant poster

EU Observer. Juncker: Orban should leave Europe’s centre-right

Youtube. “The dictator is coming”: Juncker trolls Hungarian PM Orban

Ansa. Orban su Facebook contro Soros e Juncker

Il Sole 24 Ore. Ungheria, Orbàn lancia campagna contro Juncker e Soros: “Vogliono immigrazione di massa”

Euronews. Juncker tra due fuochi: un possibile rinvio della Brexit e le critiche di Orbàn

Il L’Ungheria chiude ai migranti. Parte la campagna contro Soros e Juncker

The Guardian. Brussels accuses Orbàn of peddling conspiracy theory with Juncker poster

The Guardian. European parliament bloc set to consider ejecting Viktor Orbàn

Léon De Tombeur

Diplômé en Histoire à la Sorbonne et en Relations Internationales à Lyon III, je me suis notamment intéressé à la politique internationale de l’Union européenne. Animé par un désir de contribuer à l’Europe afin de la rendre plus sociale et respectueuse de l’environnement, je me suis rendu à Bruxelles afin de travailler de concert avec les institutions européennes. Ma spécialisation tend davantage vers le domaine de la défense et de la sécurité, j’ai réalisé mon mémoire de fin d’études sur le futur de la défense anti-missile du continent européen. C’est pourquoi j’ai choisi le portefeuille de la coopération judiciaire et policière.

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