Hungary said Tuesday it would hold a referendum in October on whether to comply with a European Union plan aimed at solving the migrant crisis, setting the stage for a fresh tussle over power-sharing in the 28-nation bloc still reeling from the U.K.’s decision to leave it.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, has proposed various ways to help spread the flow of refugees among member countries. A plan agreed last year hinged on a system of quotas. A more recent proposal involves taking refugees directly from the Middle East and finding homes for them across the EU, WSJ suggests.
In Hungary, however, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has cast himself as a leading opponent of any move to force the bloc’s member states to take in migrants. He wants to have full control over migration policy, saying asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa represent a threat to European values and way of life.
In the Oct. 2 referendum, Hungarian voters will be asked:
Hungary became a main transit country last year, when over 380,000 migrants traveled through the Balkans on their way to the more prosperous northern parts of the bloc.
Premier Viktor Orban has urged voters to reject mandatory relocation of migrants to Hungary in referendum on Oct. 2. Once won the referendum will furthermore undermine the European unity. Mr. Orban has warned that failure to reach a satisfactory compromise on refugee quotas could lead him to raise the question of EU membership.