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Feb 11, 2019

Hungary and Romania support boost to Western Balkans’ European integration

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the Western Balkans’ European integration lies in the EU’s economic and security interests

The foreign minister has said that Hungary has joined Romania, currently holding the EU’s rotating presidency, in supporting a boost to the Western Balkans’ European integration.

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said their integration lies in the EU’s economic and security interests.

Minister Szijjártó told Digi 24 that central European countries have learned from their own experience that NATO and EU integration helped a lot in alleviating tensions between them. This is why they press for accelerating the EU accession talks of Serbia and Macedonia.

“Serbia is crucial for the stability of the Balkans. Opening a chapter or two each year for negotiations is not adequate encouragement. But we should encourage and make it clear for them that it is worth focusing on accession as any other scenario would strengthen anti-European sentiments, a development all of us want to avoid,” Minister Szijjártó said.

When asked about the EU procedures launched against Hungary and Romania for violations of the rule of law, the minister said it would only make sense holding sober discussions on the issue if the European Commission once again operated in line with its original mission, as a technical body and a “guardian of the Treaties” and gave up its ambition of acting as a political organization.

The minister said that Frans Timmermans, who is attacking Hungary on political grounds on behalf of the European Commission, is spitzenkandidat of the pro-migration European Socialists and a key player in the EP election campaign.

“Is there anyone who believes that if a government has violated the rule of law for eight years, it is still elected into power with a large majority in three consecutive elections as Fidesz was re-elected last spring? Such attacks are insulting Hungarian voters because they carry the message that the European institutions do not consider them mature enough for assessing developments in their country and making a decision on their future,” Minister Szijjártó said.

The minister said these attacks are targeted at Hungary’s firm anti-immigration policy. Today, the sharpest divide in Europe is not between East and West but in the assessment of migration, therefore, the future of the continent will also be determined by the outcome of the upcoming European election.