Hungary calls for open borders within the Schengen zone

“If Schengen dies, the open economy will also die," warns Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In an interview with Germany's Die Welt newspaper, Minister Szijjártó stressed how important it was to protect the external borders but keep the borders open within the Schengen Area. The minister noted that Hungary has a “very open” economy, and that Schengen should be preserved.

Minister Szijjártó referred to large industrial companies operating in Hungary under the “just-in-time” production management system as an example of what probems could occur. “If the trucks are once again checked at the borders and lose time, the system will no longer function,” he said.

Within the interview, the minister rejected criticism over Hungary’s decision to build a fence along its southern border, Szijjártó said that the free movement of people and goods within the Schengen zone can only be guaranteed if the external borders are duly protected.

According to MTI, by defending the border of the Schengen zone, Hungary is also protecting Europe and, within that, Germany, he said. Minister Szijjártó expressed hope that Germany and other EU countries would not prolong the temporarily restored internal border controls in February. “To attain this, however, all countries concerned should defend the EU’s external borders as Hungary does,” he said.

Asked why Hungary fails to provide help for the migrants suffering from the cold spell along the Serbian-Hungarian border, Szijjártó said that the migrants should rather go get themselves registered at the Serbian reception centers. Hungary has made it clear several times that it will not tolerate illegal immigration, he said. “It is not a fundamental human right to march through safe countries en masse and choose the country where you wish to settle,” the minister said.