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Apr 27, 2018

Hungary’s FM: The EU should speed up Western Balkan enlargement process

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the EU should open all the chapters of the Serbian and Montenegrin accession negotiations before the end of this year

Hungary’s foreign minister has said that the European Union should be much quicker and more courageous with the Western Balkan enlargement process.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the EU should open all the chapters of the Serbian and Montenegrin accession negotiations before the end of this year.

Following talks with EU Commissioners in Brussels on Thursday morning, Minister Szijjártó told MTI that the government is extremely dissatisfied with the fact that according to the European Commission the accession of Serbia and Montenegro cannot occur prior to 2025.

“There is no need to wait a further seven years,” he said, pointing out that the EU integration of the Western Balkan states is in the economic and security interests of all of Europe.

He added that integration would assure the region’s stability, without which “a new wave of migration could very easily come knocking the EU’s southern border, which in this case means Hungary’s southern border”.

The minister also added that Hungary was disappointed with French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement which said that Paris will only support further enlargement following the internal reform of the EU.

“Unfortunately this confirms the fact the governments in Western Europe don’t really understand the region. The Western Balkans could cause major instability in Europe, but it could also lead to major progress with relation to Europe’s security,” he stressed.