The European Commission’s position on migration — encouraging tens of thousands of migrants to approach Europe from the south-east and the east — is “bizarre and shameful”, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, said in Sarajevo on Thursday.
“Brussels is prepared to finance anything that increases migration pressure but fails to support anything that would protect European citizens from this threat,” Szijjártó told a regional ministerial conference of Sarajevo Migration Dialogue.
The Western Balkans is in a special situation, with migrants arriving there from one European Union member state and heading for other member states, he said.
“It is high time that the European Commission supports Western Balkans countries in defending themselves — hence us, too — from migration pressure,” he said.
Szijjártó called for advances in the EU accession process of the countries in question, saying that “lack of stability and security in the Western Balkans runs counter to our national security interests.”
Hungary continues to insist on its right to decide whom it does and does not allow to enter its territory, the minister said.
One of the greatest achievements of Visegrad cooperation, he said, was that the four countries had unanimously rejected the mandatory migrant resettlement quotas.
Szijjártó said that the Hungarian authorities have registered about 100,000 attempts to cross the country’s border illegally this year. He warned that migration pressure would probably increase as 30,000 to 35,000 Afghan citizens a day leave their homeland.
Featured photo illustration via Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page