Hungary’s foreign minister has argued for a strong Europe composed of strong nation states.
During a lecture at the University of Bonn on Monday, Peter Szijjártó said, “If there is any country that needs a strong Europe, it is definitely Hungary”.
The minister noted that Hungary, located in the middle of Europe with an open economy, has a history of losing out in conflicts between east and west. He added that Europe faces historic challenges, so it is natural that there are debates about its future and on how to secure a strong Europe.
Minister Szijjártó said that whenever “someone strays from the mainstream” in the debate on the EU’s future, it is wrong that they immediately get labelled “un-European”.
The minister pointed out that some wanted weak EU member states within a kind of united states of Europe. Yet strong integration between weak countries is hard to achieve, but Hungary believes strong member states are needed, he added.
Minister Szijjártó highlighted that migration is among the EU’s ongoing challenges. He said migration had heightened the threat of terrorism in Europe.
The minister said that when hundreds of thousands are allowed to enter the continent unchecked, certain terrorists take advantage of such a lax policy. This is why migration is also a security issue, he said.
Border protection is a question of sovereignty and even the Schengen Agreement mandates the protection of Europe’s external borders, the minister said. He also said Europe should return to its Christian roots.