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European Commission’s reaction to the Hungarian quota referendum

13.10.16

In the official comment to the results of the Hungarian government-initiated quota referendum on the EU’s planned migrant distribution scheme the spokesperson of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas said at the Commission’s press conference: “If the referendum had been legally valid, our comment would have been that we take note of it. Since it was declared legally void by the Hungarian Electoral Commission, we can now say that we also take note of it. We respect the democratic will of the Hungarian people – both of those who voted and those who did not”.

Answering a question on whether the Hungarian government’s plan to amend the Constitution based on the referendum’s outcome could raise problems, the spokesperson said that taking action in the aftermath of the referendum is a right reserved for the cabinet and declined to comment.

Commenting on a journalist’s question related to a letter of complaint sent to the Commission by the so-called Nordic Alliance, a group comprising five Nordic states, on Hungary’s refusal to take back refugees, the spokesperson stated that the body is attempting to work closely with all member states in order to secure the operation of the Dublin system. Officials have also contacted Hungarian authorities concerning this question, Mr. Schinas added.

In response to a question on whether the Commission has knowledge of a possible visit to Brussels announced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Mr. Schinas said that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s office is always open to member states’ leaders.

Video of the press conference can be found under this link.

 

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