Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary accepts post-Cotonou agreement after ‘receiving all necessary guarantees’

Hungary has received the necessary guarantees in the past few weeks and has therefore agreed to the European Union signing the post-Cotonou agreement with the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the minister of foreign affairs and trade said in Mauritius on Wednesday, after meeting Mauritian counterpart Alan Ganoo.

Noting that this was the first meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers, Peter Szijjarto also mentioned that Mauritius currently holds the OACPS’s rotating presidency.

In line with the decision of the Hungarian parliament, Hungary had blocked the signing of the document until receiving guarantees “we managed to achieve over the past weeks”. Accordingly, all decisions on migration and the labour market will remain in the hands of nation states, he said. “Also, the protection of children will remain unsullied by the LGBTQ propaganda they have attempted to force on us,” he said.

Hungary agrees with the post-Cotonou agreement’s aim to bolster economic ties, as it would be advantageous to all parties, “especially today, when blocks are forming again worldwide,” he said.

At the same time, Szijjarto said Hungary’s government had “grave doubts and red lines” on the agreement’s approach to migration and sexual rights.

Hungary sees migration as a dangerous issue that should be “stopped rather than managed”, and that it posed grave security risks to the EU. The Hungarian authorities have registered 250,000 illegal entry attempts last year alone, he added.

“We shan’t ever give up our right to determine who we want to live with,” he said.

The government also rejects “aggressive LGBTQ propaganda” and sees education as the exclusive right of the parent, and “will not compromise on the protection of children”, he said.

Under the present agreement, the European Council’s resolution will be amended to clarify that the post-Cotonou agreement will not have an effect on national competencies over migration and sex education, he said.

The document will contain a “negative list” of the issues that are to remain national competencies. The list will include the labour market and regulations on social integration, leaving it up to nation states to determine the “number and degree of integration of immigrants into society”, he said.

Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, has also given a written statement guaranteeing that the agreement’s passages “referring to sexual rights” are not legally binding for member states in any way, Szijjarto said. A statement will also be added to the document “declaring that we will protect our children and that sex education is the exclusive right of the parents,” he added.

“Since all decisions regarding migration and sex education, as well as the employment and integration of foreigners, remain in the member states’ hands, and since we shall have no legal obligation regarding sexual rights, we feel we have fulfilled parliament’s expectations and can agree to the EU signing the post-Cotonou agreement,” Szijjarto said.

At the meeting, Szijjarto and Ganoo also touched on bilateral ties, and Hungary agreed to offer 15 government scholarships to Mauritian students wishing to study in Hungary. Tourism is also thriving, with more than 3,000 Hungarians visiting the east African country in the first quarter, and work is under way on cooperation in water management and environmental protection, he said.

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