Orbán wins the migration argument: Suddenly most EU leaders echo the Hungarian prime minister

Orbán wins the migration argument: Suddenly most EU leaders echo the Hungarian prime minister. By Jacopo Barigazzi on the left-wing Politico site.

No one in Brussels wants to say it out loud, but Viktor Orbán is winning the migration debate.

The Hungarian prime minister may be much maligned in European capitals for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, his opposition to the EU’s refugee relocation policy, and for building a border fence.

Victor Orbasn and Angela Merkel

But look closely at how EU leaders now talk about the issue and the policies they’ve adopted since the 2015 crisis, and it’s clear Orbán’s preference for interdiction over integration has somehow prevailed. …

While Hungary and Slovakia recently lost their fight against the EU’s relocation scheme at the European Court of Justice, the facts on the ground show that the legal victory for Brussels was hollow. …

The actions by European governments, including Italy’s effort to crack down on NGOs and the EU’s push for accords with African governments, fit neatly with Orbán’s long-stated positions. He has called for stronger protection of external borders as well as for opening up migration reception centers in Africa and a tough line on NGOs, especially foreign ones.

hat-tip Stephen Neil