The Minister told Hungarian reporters that EU Ministers agree this is one of the most serious problems that Europe has ever had to face and that a joint solution is required. According to information acquired by Hungarian news agency MTI, it was also suggested at the meeting that an emergency EU summit should be held in early October in view of the immigration crisis.

Mr. Szijjártó told the press that every EU Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to Hungary as a country that is in an extremely difficult situation, and stressed that this is something that must indeed be acknowledged.

There is no disagreement on the fact that countries of origin and transit countries must be involved in a possible solution, that so-called readmission agreements concluded with non-EU countries should be made more efficient, and that true refugees and economic immigrants should be differentiated.

Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned that the Ministers faced the dilemma of whether closing borders contravened certain EU values, and whether the distribution of immigrants between member states according to quotas is indeed possible.

According to the Hungarian standpoint, we must be realistic and make it absolutely clear that “we are not prepared to receive millions or perhaps even tens of millions of people who set off for Europe in the hope of a better life”, Minister Szijjártó declared.

“We must stop the practice of instilling unrealistic hopes and illusions”, the Minister underlined, adding that “we must make it clear that we cannot allow entrance to economic immigrants”.

The most important thing is to reinforce the European Union’s external borders; everything else can only follow once this has been completed, he said. The politician once again underlined the fact that the Schengen Agreement is one of the most important EU regulations and sets out clear obligations.

According to the Minister, a smear campaign and the stirring up of anti-Hungarian sentiment is underway, while Hungary is in fact simply trying to uphold European regulations. Mr. Szijjártó made it very clear that it is unacceptable for unregistered migrants to arrive at the Hungarian border who have already passed through another EU member state.

One of the Ministers at the meeting indeed named Greece as one such state, to which the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs blamed the seriousness of the situation. The Hungarian Minister also said that until statements that were “misleading, misunderstood or designed to be misunderstood” were made by various European politicians, migrants in Hungary were expressly cooperative, but following them they made it practically impossible for Hungary to conform to EU regulations and refused to cooperate with Hungarian authorities.

According to Minister Szijjártó, the events so far prove that the idea of introducing compulsory quotas is intrinsically flawed, because it is practically equivalent to an invitation.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade also informed the press that he had held meetings with his Serbian and Macedonian counterparts, the latter of whom had informed him that if the situation doesn’t change, some 400 thousand migrants are expected to have entered the country by the end of the year, and moreover from an EU member state, which puts the European Union in a difficult situation, because accordingly it is rather difficult to ask Macedonia to stop them from travelling further. According to Mr. Szijjártó, Skopje cannot be expected to keep the situation under control without assistance.

With regard to his meeting with the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Szijjártó said that neither party regards the situation that has developed as a bilateral issue. Serbia’s situation may also improve if immigrants realize there is less point in heading towards the Serbian-Hungarian border because of the new Hungarian border security system, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned that ways in which the EU can help and of determining who is an economic immigrant and who is a refugee before migrants arrive at the Hungarian border must both be discussed at the Conference on Western Balkan Migration to be held in Budapest in October.

With reference to the events of Friday night and the small hours of Saturday morning, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported on the fact that at the meeting his Austrian counterpart had expressed his pleasure at the fact that the situation had been successfully solved in a humane manner, but added that what happened cannot be allowed to become common practice.

This was a one-off event in view of the fact that according to the Dublin Agreement refugees must apply for asylum in the country where they first enter the European Union an must await the ruling on their request in that country, Mr. Szijjártó added.

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[photo credits: “Wien – Völkerwanderung am 5 Sep 2015, Westbahnhof” by Bwag – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wien_-_V%C3%B6lkerwanderung_am_5_Sep_2015,_Westbahnhof.JPG#/media/File:Wien_-_V%C3%B6lkerwanderung_am_5_Sep_2015,_Westbahnhof.JPG]

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