Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister: Brussels’ Quota System Would Lure Even More Migrants To Europe

The EU’s regulatory system has broken down and has been inefficient, Hungary’s foreign minister said in an interview to German daily Die Welt, Hungary’s migration policy and measures. Europe has not had to face this many crises since the Second World War, Péter Szijjártó said, noting migration, the war in Ukraine and the threat of terrorism. What would be appropriate is to show an open approach without “any illusions” towards these crises and take action after calm analysis of the situation, he told the paper.

Regarding Hungary’s border fence, he said the country would not have decided to build the barrier had Europe been able to “give a common response” to the migrant wave. By building the fence, Hungary defended not only its own laws but those of Europe as well, he said. He said Hungary rejects any reports that “attempt to create a context” suggesting that reception centres in Hungary are not up to international standards. Hungary has always met all requirements and has never had a problem of inefficient space in these centres, he said. “In fact, the problem we faced was that migrants only crossing through Hungary’s territory violated EU rules,” Szijjártó said, adding his view that “this shows that the EU’s regulatory system has broken down and has been inefficient.”

Hungary and Germany have close economic cooperation and Germany “serves as a compass for Hungary in particular in foreign policy matters”, Szijjártó told Die Welt. The fact that there is a difference in the two countries’ migration policies is however “not a disaster,” Szijjártó said. Asked about one axis forming within the EU by the Visegrad Four countries and another by Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Sweden, Szijjártó responded by saying that the EU’s greatest strength is in its unity which must be preserved.

Commenting on the EU’s migrant redistribution quotas, the minister reiterated that Hungary rejects the scheme. If hundreds or thousands of migrants were moved to Hungary, they would set off for Germany, Sweden or Austria the next day, Szijjártó said, adding that the quotas “would lure even more migrants to Europe,” it would be “another invitation” to the continent, he said. Elaborating on Hungary’s decision to build a fence on its border with Serbia, Szijjártó said building the fence was “nothing more or nothing less” than fulfilling the EU’s Schengen rules. Hungary’s move of installing the fence had shown that protecting the borders and stemming the flow of migrants is not an impossible task, the minister added.

Last weekend Péter Szijjártó attended a meeting of EU foreign ministers with a Turkish delegation in Pozsony (Bratislava).  “Preventing that another coup attempt could be mounted in Turkey is in Hungary’s interest from a national security point of view”, he said in the Slovak capital. “Turkey must remain a stable country otherwise Europe could face an even more massive migration wave than it saw last year”, Péter Szijjártó told Hungarian reporters.

“Some of the EU foreign ministers expressed concern over the punitive measures taken by the Turkish government in response to the attempted coup”, he noted. “Hungary’s position in that regard is that a military coup “is a serious matter and it is not surprising that Turkey’s leadership gave a serious response to such an attempt,” Szijjártó said. “Hungary will in every aspect stand by Turkey’s democratically elected leader and his government,” he said,  adding that the Hungarian government would support any measures aimed at preventing another coup attempt.

via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and welt.de