Macron and Orbán Demand the Same Thing

Politicians all over Europe are getting in the heat of the upcoming EP-elections. The pro-EU and anti-EU camps are flexing their muscles and arranging their soldiers, both plotting to set up their own party group in the EP. (I wonder what it would look like to have, say, and anti-German and a pro-Germany party in the German parliament…)

Macron and Orbán positioned themselves against each other – and yet, last week they have been calling for the same thing: rethinking Schengen, getting the border control out of EC and EP mandate and creating a non-political unit to deal with immigration. 

In the heat of the campaign, they also talk to the media more often. Even Orbán allowed a rare favor to Die Welt and gave an interview.

Viktor Orbán in an interview with Welt am Sonntag:

“We need a method how we can live together despite differing viewpoints. The questions that arise from migration should therefore be taken away from the commission and handed to a dedicated, separate council of the interior ministers concerned. A separate body needs to be created for this, where only the interior ministers of the Schengen zone would sit. Just like there is a separate council of the finance ministers of the Euro zone. The interiour ministers of the Schengen zone would need to turn this into a very strong council, where questions that concern the whole Schengen zone would be decided in the manner of experts and not of politicians.”

Emmanuel Macron for the Guardian:

“Founded on internal reconciliation, the EU has forgotten the realities of the world. Yet no community can create a sense of belonging if it does not have protected territorial limits. The boundary is freedom in security. We therefore need to rethink the Schengen area: all those who want to be part of it should comply with obligations of responsibility (stringent border controls) and solidarity (a single asylum policy with common acceptance and refusal rules).

“We will need a common border force and a European asylum office, strict control obligations and European solidarity to which each country will contribute under the authority of a European Council for Internal Security. On migration, I believe in a Europe that protects both its values and its borders.”

Of the two, Macron probably even means what he wrote. Orbán’s words have long become 100% smokescreen, telling everyone whatever they need to hear. He even has a name for it, “peacock dance”, and it is meant to describe that he is willing to pretend anything to anyone to make them do whatever he wants them to do. Support, submit, tolerate, look away. And as we have seen with major industries, prominent European politicians, or otherwise not dependent or intimidated MEPs, it works.

Just in the case of border control, the EU has sent plenty of money to do so – but who cares, it is about creating panic and reaping the power. Orbán even vetoed every single attempt at creating a unified border control force – because it suits him better to keep claiming that the EU doesn’t want borders. He couldn’t care less about the actual borders.

If the fact that two opposing politicians demand the same thing – and still fight each other – surprises you, you should perhaps consider the very real possibility that you might be a political rookie and the kinds of Orbán can play you like a sock puppet. Because they do.

UPDATE: After this post went online, Orbán announced that he totally agrees with Macron* – mostly because Manfred Weber gave him an ultimatum, and also because he wanted to jump on Macron’s bandwagon after the French president released his election statement addressing all of Europe, even in Hungarian.

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* that they need to sit down. 

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