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Nov 30, 2016

Hungary tells Juncker to accept Balkan states into the EU

Several Balkan states have expressed a desire to join the European Union but Brussels does not appear keen to bring any more countries in at the moment

According to international media reports today, Hungary's minister of Foreign Affiars and Trade has told the European Union to speed up accession talks with western Balkan countries amid fears of another influx of migrants.

According to the UK's Daily Express, Péter Szijjártó has urged the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to start accepting new members.

“The President of the European Commission has said that there will be no further enlargement of the EU in the next five years. We do not agree. We not only think that the Union should be expanded over the next five years, but we say the EU should be expanded immediately," the minister said.

“If the enlargement process is still going to be so slow as it was up until now, this may lead to serious risks both in the security and in the economic dimension," he added.

Minister Szijjártó was speaking at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group - Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - who met with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to discuss challenges faced by the EU.

Also at the meeting was Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, who said that "the process of European integration contributes to the security and development of the whole continent.

“That is why we are sharing our experience from the time of our political transformation [after the collapse of communism], and our accession to both the EU and NATO with the western Balkan countries.”

Several Balkan states have expressed a desire to join the European Union but Brussels does not appear keen to bring any more countries in at the moment.

Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo are all reportedly interested in joining the EU.

All six countries were represented at the meeting in Warsaw, as well as the Visegrad Group and regional neighburs including Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Greece.