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Fidesz MEPs welcome European Parliament’s approval of Western Balkans Growth Plan

MEPs of Hungary's ruling Fidesz have welcomed the European Parliament's giving the green light to a 6 billion euro Growth Plan aimed at promoting the integration of countries in the Western Balkans.
25. April 2024 5:35

In a statement sent to MTI late on Wednesday, MEP Kinga Gal said the plan was instrumental in the accession of the region, leading to “deeper cooperation in the areas of border control, energy, and the economy, which could yield significant benefits to Hungary, too.”

Without the Western Balkans, the European Union “could not succeed in the global competition and could not guarantee stability in the Western Balkans, which is one of the most important conditions for peace in Europe,” Gal said. She said it was unacceptable that Europe’s borders were threatened by “people smuggler rings and gangs of armed migrants”. “The Hungarian government has had the position that protecting the EU’s external borders is an important task over which we could not make a compromise even to Brussels,” she said.

MEP Andor Deli said the Growth Plan could not only accelerate the enlargement of the EU but contribute to “restoring the ruined reputation of the EU’s credibility”. He insisted that the EU’s “poor” treatment of Serbia and the whole region had led to “wavering trust” concerning those countries’ accession, while the new mechanism could send “an encouraging signal”.

Deli said the Western Balkan countries’ accession to community funding should be made possible through “realistic and objective” criteria and warned that those conditions “cannot be used by Brussels to exert political pressure”. Such behaviours could create “estrangement and uncertainty” among the candidates, which the EU “cannot afford in the current, dangerous geopolitical situation,” he added.

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