Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, front, delivers his address during the opening of the autumn session of the Hungarian Parliament lead by Speaker of the Parliament Laszlo Kover, center back, in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP)
Viktor Orban delivers his address to the Hungarian Parliament. MTI via AP

Viktor Orban vows to oppose EU border-guard plan

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban vowed on Monday to oppose an EU plan aimed at bolstering the bloc’s external borders, accusing Brussels of wanting to take away Hungary’s control of its own frontiers.

According to the fiercely anti-immigration premier, the plan to reinforce border defences on the bloc’s margins would “strip Hungary of its right to protect its own borders”.

"We will not give up our right to defend a border, no one can take an iota of that away from us," he said during a speech in parliament in Budapest.

Hungary “understands border defence better than anyone in Brussels or an international organisation,” he said.


Read more:

Hungary rejects European accusations of breaching EU values

Salvini and Orban plan end to EU migrant standoff

Hungary denies food to asylum seekers


The European Commission unveiled a proposal in July to hike staff numbers at the EU’s border-guard and coastguard agency Frontex.

The Warsaw-based agency only has 600 staff, with EU members assigning extra support through hundreds of police for operations in Italy and Greece, which along with Spain have continued to bear the brunt of the arrivals.

An extra 10,000 agents would be deployed at EU borders from 2020 under the plan, and would be able to patrol and intervene when needed.

Last week Mr Orban described the EU plan as a “pro-immigration” effort led by German chancellor Angela Merkel to remove border control from peripheral countries and give “the keys to the gate” to Brussels.

“They will send mercenaries here from Brussels, from where they will be told how the Hungarian border should be protected,” Mr Orban said on state radio on Friday.

“We should be under no illusions: if they control Hungarian border defences, they will let in the migrants,” he said.

Mr Orban said he would oppose the plan at an informal meeting of EU heads of state in Salzburg, Austria, later this week where the topics of migration and border security are expected to dominate.

In a statement on Monday, the European Commission’s representative office in Budapest denied Mr Orban’s accusations.

“The EU does not want to take over border defence from member states, but rather help them to protect the external borders,” it said.

The 55-year-old premier suffered a rare setback last week when the European Parliament voted to launch a sanctions procedure against Hungary over rule-of-law concerns.

Mr Orban said the vote in Strasbourg was a bid to weaken Hungary which has become a “symbol of resistance against migration”.

Hungary will file a case at the European Court of Justice, said Mr Orban’s chief-of-staff Monday, as the vote did not include abstentions in the calculation of the two-thirds majority necessary for its adoption, and hence broke EU rules according to Budapest.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Our legal consultant

Name: Dr Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Company profile

Company name: Ogram
Started: 2017
Founders: Karim Kouatly and Shafiq Khartabil
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: On-demand staffing
Number of employees: 50
Funding: More than $4 million
Funding round: Series A
Investors: Global Ventures, Aditum and Oraseya Capital


1. Go to chrome://flags

2. Find and enable Expansion pack for the Site Search starter pack

3. Restart Chrome Canary

4. Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines in the address bar and find the Chat with Gemini shortcut under Site Search

5. Open a new tab and type @ to see the Chat with Gemini shortcut along with other Omnibox shortcuts to search tabs, history and bookmarks

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
4. A lack of basic knowledge required for integration into the labour force, due to the lack of core curriculum studies in schools for Ultra-Othodox Jews.
5. A need to upgrade and expand physical infrastructure, particularly mass transit infrastructure.
6. The poverty rate at more than double the OECD average.
7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

View from London

Your weekly update from the UK and Europe

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      View from London