“It is only thanks to a fortunate combination of circumstances that these is currently no significant migration pressure on Europe, and not because the EU has found a common solution or introduced the required measures”, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

At his press conference, the Hungarian Foreign Minister spoke about the fact that the issue of the immigration crisis appears with monthly regularity on the agenda of EU Ministerial meetings, “but nothing happens, just as nothing has happened so far”.

Mr. Szijjártó stressed that a final solution to the crisis requires a common declaration that “immigration is a bad thing, the territory of Europe can only be entered legally and everyone who arrives illegally should be sent home”, in addition to which an agreement should also be reached concerning the fact that “the goal is to stop immigration pressure”.

Mr. Szijjártó said it was worrying that the EU is applying a geographically extremely one-sided approach concerning partnership agreements with migration source and transit countries and called for the European Union to conclude such compact agreements with countries from the Middle East and Asia, instead of just with African countries. As the Foreign Minister explained, the European Union is concentrating solely on the Mediterranean migration route and not on the Western Balkan route.

“It is important that the EU should conclude a partnership agreement with Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as with countries that border Syria such as Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan”, he added.

On the subject of Africa, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that the EU should follow a double goal in its Africa-related politics, and in addition to making use of economic opportunities it should also keep immigration-related issues on the agenda.

“The key word is responsibility”; African countries that receive EU development funding must be required to “introduce changes designed to stop them being the sources of migration or transit countries”, he stresssed.

The Hungarian Foreign Minister also reported on the fact that EU foreign ministers at Monday’s meeting were preparing to issue a statement criticising the Egyptian administration for introducing regulations that affect non-governmental organisations, because it is feared that if the system that currently assures the country’s stability falters, then millions of people could set out towards Europe. It is for this same reason that the Government feels it important that the EU “should also not place Turkey under undue pressure”.

Other subjects of discussion at the meeting of EU foreign ministers included Syria, with regard to which Mr. Szijjártó pointed out that the prerequisite for putting an end to the civil war in Syria, which is one of the factors fuelling the migration crisis, is that an agreement is reached between the United States and Russia.

[Source: Hungary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: By Joachim Seidler, photog_at from Austria (20150904 174) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

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