Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: MTI

Foreign minister welcomes UEFA decision 'not to assist to political provocation'

Szijjarto: EU could lose Western Balkans

Unless the European Union makes timely steps in terms of its enlargement, it could lose the Western Balkans, similarly to the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU affairs ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Enlargement of the EU is “one of the most important policies” of the community, he said.

The community will pursue “policies running contrary to its own interests” if it fails to accelerate accession talks with Serbia and Montenegro, and delays the start of talks with North Macedonia and Albania, he said.

Szijjarto said there was a “competition” under way to integrate the Balkans and exert influence on the region. He said that though the EU has the highest chances to win, as countries in the region have “all chosen the European path”, the region’s “transatlantic direction must not be taken for granted”.

The EU needs the Western Balkans more than the Western Balkans countries need the EU, Szijjarto warned, adding that “losing that region could be a realistic scenario for the EU in case of a long impasse”.

“The EU must be enlarged with new members and with economic and trade cooperation with those states coupled with market opportunities,” he said.

Szijjarto said that in the light of three countries in the region recently meeting NATO’s entry criteria “there’s no reason for the EU’s delays”.

The minister urged that Serbia and Montenegro should be “quickly integrated”, and that talks with Albania and North Macedonia are started. “Failing to do so, the EU will not only give up a realistic success but may risk stability and security risks in its neighbourhood instead of peace, calm, and economic opportunities,” he added.

Foreign minister welcomes UEFA decision ‘not to assist to political provocation’

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto welcomed on Tuesday a decision by heads of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) “not to assist to political provocation against Hungary” and rejecting Munich’s request for illuminating a football stadium in rainbow colors.

Szijjarto told Hungarian journalists in the break during a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg that “thank God among UEFA leaders common sense still prevails”.

Munich’s left-wing mayor had proposed illuminating the stadium in rainbow colours during a Germany-Hungary match on Wednesday in order to express protest against Hungary’s new peadophile law which bans sexual education in schools promoting homosexuality and gender change.

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