Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Justice minister: Pandemics, mass migration pose biggest threats to Europe

Pandemics and mass migration are the two biggest threats facing Europe today, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Facebook from an international forum in Alpbach, where she is participating in a panel discussion on the challenges facing the continent.

The migration crisis of 2015 proved that the European Union’s existing rules are inadequate to address such crises, the minister said. “We should not believe that 2015 was a unique case,” she said in her English-language post. “Due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are on the verge of another crisis. In the future, in addition, such events will be more frequent and severe.”

While Hungary was busy addressing the migration crisis and trying to fulfil its legal obligation to protect the EU’s external borders, the European Commission launched a number of infringement procedures against the country, Varga said.

“In 2015, we provided effective responses and solutions to the whole of Europe, yet the only thing we received was criticism,” the minister said. “Today, however, more and more people agree with us that the problem of migration must be addressed locally, at the point of departure and not within the Union.”

However, talks on the EU’s pact on migration have stalled for years and the bloc has failed to agree on new regulations despite the intentions of member state leaders, she added.

“Hungary’s message is clear: if working on that issue doesn’t work together, let’s address it individually,” the minister said. “We should give the authority over asylum procedures back to the Member States!”

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