"Nobody has the intention of building a wall", declared GDR Head of State Walter Ulbricht in the summer of 1961, in East-Berlin. Despite of his words of annoyance, only two months had passed and masons started the construction. Recently Hungarian government politicians declared that no fence would be erected to stop migrants at Hungary’s Southern border. Yet, in 17 June 2015, the government has decided to erect a 4 meter high border closure.
The Hungarian Europe Society deeply condemns the decision on erecting a barbed wire fence.
We find it disgraceful that the Hungarian government neglects the recent calls for international solidarity by European and world religious and state leaders, while one of the biggest humanitarian disasters is unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea and millions are forced to leave behind their homes due to the ongoing armed conflicts in the Middle-East.
We find it also disgraceful that while at the end of last year the European Commission granted an urgency support of 1,2 million euro from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund to Hungary in order to enhance the institutional and human resource capacity of its authorities dealing with migration, instead of delivering on this, the government opted to build a fence from taxpayer’s money.
We call on the government:
- to immediately cease the hate campaign against migrants, call back the billboard posters that stirring up prejudices and stop the „national consultation” that is linking the problem of migration to terrorism;
- that in case the government indeed wants to address migrants, it should do it with respect (using the formal language of communication) in the institutions where they stay, and, if possible, on a language what they speak;
- to strict to the principles of its own Migration Strategy adopted in 2013;
- not to hinder by building a fence the possibility to handle in an asylum request in Hungary, which would result in breaching international treaties;
- to provide information on the European migration flow based on real facts and figures and about the planned actions of the European institutions;
- as a Member State of the European Union, to coordinate with other Member States and neighbouring countries, as the only way to address the issue of migration effectively is through coordinated actions;
- to constrain itself from taking unilateral steps just before the upcoming meeting of the European Council aiming to develop a common migration strategy.
Hungary, that gave Two-hundred-thousand refugees to the world in 1956; Hungary, that played a leading role in dismantling the Iron Curtain, can’t erect walls at its borders if it wants to stay loyal to the ideas of freedom.
Budapest, 19 June 2015