Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Szijjarto: Radical changes needed in migration policy in order to protect Europe’s future

Radical changes are needed in Brussels' migration policy in order to protect Europe's future, international law should be respected and those that act in line with it must not be punished, the foreign minister said in Madrid on Tuesday.
14. February 2024 5:35

The ministry cited Peter Szijjarto saying after talks with Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares that Madrid would help Budapest in several areas under the arrangement of the current presidency trio of the Council of the European Union made up of Spain, Belgium and Hungary.

Szijjarto said Europe was currently facing some very serious challenges, such as illegal migration. Last year, the number of migrants arriving in Spain went up by 82 percent on 2022. At the same time, pressure was also increasing in Hungary, with 170,000 illegal border crossing attempts thwarted by the authorities last year, he added.

“Taking into consideration that the threat of terrorism is more severe than ever before in Africa, and economic development cannot progress at the pace of population increase, we can expect a migratory pressure to toughen on Europe,” the foreign minister said.

“If Brussels maintains its pro-migration policy, then there will be a realistic danger that Europeans lose Europe because Brussels’ migration policy attracts people to the continent,” he added.

At the same time, Szijjarto said that speeding up the enlargement of the European Union was among the priorities of Hungary’s upcoming EU presidency.

“In terms of enlargement, we must focus on making sure that countries of the Western Balkans get entry in the EU as soon as possible,” he added.

Commenting on Hungarian-Spanish economic relations, Szijjarto welcomed last year’s record trade volume of 6 billion euros. He said he had met the leaders of several Spanish companies that had made investments in Hungary and they all expressed satisfaction about the business environment. Szijjarto also said that over 300,000 Hungarians had visited Spain last year, and more than 200,000 Spanish tourists had come to Hungary, both numbers increasing over 40 percent.

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