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Hungary insists that the European Union should cover the costs of the protection of its borders, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after a meeting with his Visegrad Group (V4) counterparts in Budapest on Tuesday.

The countries located on the EU’s periphery cannot be expected to bear the costs of border protection alone, Orbán told a joint news conference with his Czech, Polish and Slovak counterparts. The prime minister criticised Brussels’s “flawed” migration policy, saying that the EU was prepared to fund “practically anything that increases migration pressure”. Brussels supports NGOs and launches integration programmes, he argued.
The one thing Brussels refuses to finance is border protection, Orbán said. Hungary has always said that it would only be fair if the EU covered at least half of the costs of the country’s border protection efforts “given that we’re not just protecting ourselves but the whole of Europe”, he said. The V4 proposes that the EU should not support a single country that contributes either directly or indirectly to the migration pressure on the bloc’s external borders, including the pressure on the Polish border, Orbán said. He added that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia had expressed their full solidarity with and support for Poland at the meeting.