The European Union needs investments, security and expanded markets in order to be strong enough to defend itself against pandemics and migration waves, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said during a break in a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels on Monday.
Perilous times lie ahead for the bloc, Szijjártó told Hungarian reporters, arguing that the most important developments in the global economy and politics would be shaped by pandemics and migration waves.
To boost investments, the EU must keep taxes low and member states must pursue investment support schemes or risk losing out on high-tech investments to countries outside the bloc, Szijjártó said.
The minister underscored Hungary’s opposition to the introduction of a global minimum tax, saying it would lead to higher taxes and hurt the country’s competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said the key to security was stopping migration waves. He warned that NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan could again increase migration pressure on Hungary, noting that already thousands of families were fleeing the central Asian country towards Europe each day.
To prevent the emergence of new migration waves, the EU must settle all its unresolved questions concerning migration with Turkey and boost the bloc’s “lines of defense”, he added.
Szijjártó also urged the EU to press ahead with enlargement and integrate the Western Balkans. Serbia and Montenegro should be admitted to the bloc without delay and accession talks should be started with Albania and North Macedonia, he said. If the EU fails to integrate the Western Balkans, “someone else will”, he warned.
Featured photo illustration via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page