The foreign minister said the European Union “currently needs the Western Balkans more than they need us” and Hungary has a security interest in speeding up the enlargement process.
On Thursday, at the Western Balkans Forum in Budapest, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that one of the roots of the EU’s “many ailments” was the “failure of the enlargement process”. The last country, Croatia, joined the bloc a decade ago, and the United Kingdom has since left the EU, he noted. Still, supporters of a quick enlargement are “currently in a minority in the EU”, he said. He slammed member states he said hypocritically supported the enlargement publicly while “obstructing it in every way possible”. Meanwhile, it is a matter of national security for Hungary, as “the international community has so far failed to handle the root causes of migration”. That raises the danger of further waves which Europe will be unable to withstand without support from the Western Balkans, he said. Enlargement has no legal hurdles, he said, “it is just lack of political will”. Central Europe is therefore putting pressure on the EU to “eliminate artificial obstacles”, he said.