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, novinite.com 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.