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The "only correct path" for the next president of the European Commission is "to do everything to protect the external borders of the European Union", Hungarian MEP Tamás Deutsch said in the European parliamentary hearing of Ursula von der Leyen, the candidate for the post.

The European Union must stop migration through control of the external borders, respect national identities under the EU treaties, and continue subsidies to central and eastern union members at the current level, Deutsch, a deputy of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz, said.

“We expect the new head of the European Commission to appreciate and support efforts by members aimed at protecting the community’s external borders,” he said. The next budget of the EU “should not punish but support central Europe” whose countries are “developing and closing the gap at a higher than average rate”, Deutsch insisted.

Katalin Cseh, MEP of the Momentum party, called on the EU to step up against “those working to destroy the EU”.

Jobbik MEP Márton Gyöngyösi said “European voters are disappointed; they want a more credible, democratic and more transparent EU. Many find Von der Leyen unacceptable as EC president candidate.”

Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi voiced support for Von der Leyen’s programme on a community site, but added that he disagreed with the way she had been nominated.