European leaders in favour of a restrictive migration policy gather in Budapest on Thursday for a meeting of minds, a day after Hungary passed legislation criminalising help to asylum seekers.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is set to hold talks with the Hungarian, Czech, Slovak and Polish prime ministers, who have fiercely fought back the EU’s attempts to relocate asylum seekers from Italy and Greece.
Under Hungary’s “Stop Soros” laws voted on Wednesday, people who help migrants seek asylum in the country could face jail time. The move has been strongly criticized by European leaders and human rights groups. Lawmakers also passed an amendment stating that an "alien population" cannot be settled in Hungary - a swipe at Brussels over its quota plan.
On “Good Morning Europe”, European affairs journalist Stefan de Vries explains Orban’s motives and the headache his anti-immigrant policies are giving the EU.
“Viktor Orban sees himself as the defender of Christian Europe,” he said. “And we’ve seen it in other countries as well: being tough on immigration attracts voters.”
“There is a procedure to exclude a European member state, but this has never been used in the history of Europe and it would be very difficult, because it’s very unpopular, especially in these times when populist parties are getting more and more votes,” he added.
“So the European Union can yell, can shout, but in the end, it’s Viktor Orban who wins.”
You can watch Good Morning Europe, anchored by Tesa Arcilla from Euronews' headquarters in the French city of Lyon, every weekday from 7 am CET.