Mar 16, 2016

Defence Line of Europe’s External Borders Cannot Just be Broken Through

Europe must relay a clear message to migrants and the networks of criminals and people smugglers behind them to the effect that a defence line has been set up on the external borders of Europe which cannot just be broken through at a moment’s notice, Szabolcs Takács told journalists on Tuesday.

The State Secretary for European Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office highlighted after the meeting of the ministers of the Member States responsible for European affairs held on Tuesday in Brussels: if we had an independent European border protection scheme in place which is not dependent upon any other non-EU country, it would be an important message for everyone that Europe cannot be entered without controls.

Mr Takács said: the politicians who attended the Tuesday meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels agreed that the closure of the Western-Balkans route has already yielded tangible results in the migrant influx.

The times have come to an end when masses of people could wander through the Western-Balkans without any controls. We must give the countries concerned all possible support with sharing their increased burdens, as what they are doing is nothing other than protecting Europe, he said.

The attending politicians indicated: as the flow of refugees coming from the direction of Africa can repeatedly surge at any time, we must find a solution which offers Europe realistic and sustainable defence in the medium-term as well as in the long run. As an important part of this, every measure should convey the message: migrants cannot enter Europe under these circumstances, the State Secretary underlined.

Mr Takács said that Hungary is only able to support the EU-Turkish action plan if it does stop the migrant flow. In all other scenarios, it is essential to set up external border protection.

It is additionally necessary to explore on what legal grounds a Syrian citizen should be relocated to an EU Member State in exchange for every illegal migrant taken back to Turkey, and whether this is in harmony with the EU’s immigration policy.

If we fail to clarify these questions and come to an agreement, it may lead to conflicting results. In our talks with Turkey, we should first achieve that fewer people should set out for Europe, the State Secretary took the view.

Mr Takács stated: Hungary upholds its former position not to accept any mandatory measure with respect to the relocation of refugees between the Member States or the relocation of refugees from Turkey.

If this is the solution that will be proposed, Hungary will not support it. Participation in any measure can only be voluntary, the State Secretary pointed out.