Apr 04, 2017

Hungary says not enough is being done to protect EU from migrant crisis

"There are more serious crises emerging and there have been no successful breakthroughs in resolving these issues despite the efforts of the European Union and the international community," Hungary's foreign minister said

The European Union is facing an impending migrant crisis and the EU and international community aren't doing enough to stop it, Hungary's foreign minister has said.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was in Luxembourg for a meeting of EU foreign ministers, where he said "there is increasingly instability in Europe’s southern neighborhood; more and more increasingly serious crises are emerging and there have been no successful breakthroughs in resolving these issues despite the efforts of the European Union and the international community," he said.

The European Union is facing an increasingly serious security hazard as a result of growing southern instability and the immigration pressure on Europe could easily increase in future, he explained.

Minister Szijjártó highlighted the fact that there are 13.5 million people in Syria and 21.2 million people in Yemen living on humanitarian aid, and the mass migration passing through Libya is causing increasing social and economic tensions. He also said that the number of migrants arriving in Europe via the central basin of the Mediterranean Sea has increased further since the beginning of this year, and Italy has registered 18,000 immigrants, most of whom arrived from Libya.

According to the minister, the European Union should come to an agreement with the Libyan administration on protecting its own borders and reinforcing its coast guard in the interests of preventing tens of thousands of people from leaving the country and undertaking the dangerous sea crossing.

Minsiter Szijjártó also pointed out that there are worrying signs along the Balkan migration route. An unstable situation has come about in Macedonia as a result of external intervention, which is preventing the country from establishing a government that is capable of making decisions.

“The instability in the Balkans and in the continent’s southern neighborhood both reinforce the need for national measures on border security and in the interests of presenting a further significant increase in immigration pressure," he said.

He pointed out that the European Union is placing too much pressure on Macedonia to form a government with the participation of the party that came second in the elections and Albanian national parties without the inclusion of the largest Macedonian party, and this is leading to ethnic conflicts that are making the country’s situation much worse.

Minister Szijjártó also said that EU member states are increasingly divided with regard to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, adding that in his opinion peace must first be established in Syria, and only afterwards should we deal with the future of the Syrian administration and Syria’s future leadership.

“Hungary’s standpoint with regard to this issue is that it isn’t the international community who should decide who should lead the country, but the people of Syria must have the final word in the issue," he added.