After a meeting of the EU’s General Affairs Council in Brussels, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said: “Contrary to European or global public opinion, pro-enlargement countries are actually in the minority in the European Union today."
The foreign minister lamented that the EU had not admitted a new member in 10 years, that the bloc had not closed a single accession chapter with any of the candidate countries in six years, and that a new chapter was last opened two years ago. North Macedonia has been a candidate country since 2005 and Albania since 2014, but real accession talks have yet to begin, Minister Szijjártó said. Montenegro, he added, has had candidate status since 2010, and it had been six years since an accession chapter with it had been closed. He also noted that Serbia had been a candidate country since 2012, but no real progress had been made in connection with its integration. Minister Szijjártó said this situation was the result of there always having been member states that had raised some sort of objection, blocked the process or were against making progress in those countries’ accession. “And interestingly enough, these member states … were never accused by anyone of being pro-Russia or pro-Putin, no one called them Kremlin propagandists and no one said they’d end up on the wrong side of history,” Minister Szijjártó said. He said that just as these member states had the right to express their opinion on enlargement, Hungary also had a right to apply a carefully considered approach, taking into consideration the interests of the EU, in connection with Ukraine. Minister Szijjártó called for the urgent completion of the open accession chapters with Montenegro, starting the third chapter of talks with Serbia and opening the actual accession process with North Macedonia and Albania. The minister also reiterated Hungary’s support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s, Georgia’s and Moldova’s EU integration aspirations.