Hungary's Orban: EU's future hinges on Bulgaria's border with Turkey

The future of the European Union depends on the bloc providing Bulgaria with adequate border protection assistance in the face of a surge in migrants hoping to reach Europe via the Balkan nation, warned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

"The future of Europe is decided not in Brussels, but where we stand," Orban said during a visit to Bulgaria's fenced-off border with Turkey, reported. His speech was designed to bolster Bulgarian pleas for more border protection funding from the EU.

During the visit to the border with Orban, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov asked the EU to "immediately" approve 160 million euros (179 million dollars) to help his country keep migrants out.

Orban - who has emerged as the leading voice against immigration since migrants began to use the Balkans as a route to wealthy EU countries - promised to back Bulgaria at an upcoming EU summit in Bratislava.

He said that, if the EU could find 3 billion euros to help Turkey - which has agreed to try to limit the number of departures from its shores - it should also be able to allocate the smaller amount to Bulgaria.

Since countries on the main Balkan route, such as Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia, closed their borders to migrants in March. Bulgaria has become the main gateway for people still arriving from Turkey.

Separately, in Belgrade, the minister in charge of migrants, Aleksandar Vulin, indicated that Serbia will become the latest country to build a border fence to stop migrants.

He said the cabinet will soon discuss "more drastic measures" to control the flow of people across the border. Serbia has so far only sent joint police and army patrols to its borders.

Serbia worries that more migrants and potential asylum seekers will become stranded on its soil than the nearly 5,000 it already shelters, according to UNHCR figures.

Last update: Wed, 14/09/2016 - 17:29

More from Europe

Belgian premier: Efforts to win over regions on EU-Canada deal failed

Belgium cannot approve a landmark free trade deal between the European Union and Canada, Prime Minister Charles...

Greece can receive new 2.8-billion-euro aid tranche, EU sources say

Greece's creditors are expected this week to approve a further 2.8 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars) in bailout...

Northern Ireland Christian bakers lose appeal in row over "gay cake"

A Northern Irish bakery lost its appeal against a court ruling that said it discriminated against a gay man by...

Mystery over identity of French killed in Maltese plane crash

Five French nationals were killed when a military aircraft crashed on take-off from Malta on Monday, the Maltese...

Belgian regional parliament digs in heels on EU-Canada trade deal

Last-ditch efforts to salvage a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada on Monday are bound to fail, a...