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May 23, 2018

Hungary's FM: The EU wanted to legitimize and support migration as part of a new international agreement

Following a meeting of EU foreign ministers and trade representatives in Brussels on Tuesday, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the section of the Cotonou Agreement dealing with migration was entirely unacceptable for Hungary

The foreign minister has said that in light of the 29 terrorist attacks carried out in Europe by people with a migrant background over the past three years, discussing migration in the context of security is indispensable.

Following a meeting of EU foreign ministers and trade representatives in Brussels on Tuesday, Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the section of the Cotonou Agreement dealing with migration was entirely unacceptable for Hungary.

The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, signed in June in 2000 and is now about to be updated.

Minister Szijjártó said the reason for this pact being unacceptable was because the EU wanted to legitimize and support migration as part of a new international agreement.

Hungary can only approve the start of new talks in line with the directives submitted by the European Commission if the chapter concerned addresses migration as a security challenge, he said.

The current text reflects an EU position that migration is good, needs to be managed and encouraged as a priority issue and contributes to global development. The minister said Hungary disagrees with this position in the same way it disagreed with the earlier view that European and African interests were intertwined with respect to migration.

Minister Szijjártó said it should be left for every nation to decide whether or not they consider migration as a response to economic and social policy challenges. Hungary does not think that migration is the right answer to challenges in the labor market and demographics, he added.