Christian Democratic lawmaker Lőrinc Nacsa, told a European Parliament committee that the European Union’s security, economic and political interests firmly hinge on integrating countries of the Western Balkans, arguing that enlargement would make the EU stronger, while each month of delay would enfeeble the bloc.
“Hungary finds it unacceptable that delays to the enlargement process may end up weakening the European Union,” Nacsa told MTI after attending the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). “In times of war and amid the challenges of migration, the EU accession of Western Balkan countries is our primary interest, also from a security point of view.” The party’s deputy group leader noted that ten years ago Croatia joined the EU, yet the bloc had shrunk by one member since then, which he called a “shameful record”. Noting that he was among delegates from the foreign affairs committees of national parliaments attending the AFET meeting on Tuesday, he said the Hungarian parliament had sent experts to aid countries aspiring the join the bloc in fulfilling the necessary accession criteria while supporting their parliaments through various programmes both in the eastern and southern regions of Europe. Nacsa said Hungary kept the issue of enlargement firmly on the EU’s agenda while promoting the Schengen accession of non-EU-member countries. Quickening the enlargement process and striving to prevent any further delays to Western Balkan integration were high Hungarian priorities, he added.
Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál in a statement criticized the annual report on Bosnia-Herzegovina approved by the EP’s foreign affairs committee at the meeting, saying that like most EP reports on Western Balkan countries, it rode roughshod over the complex problems of the region, and such reports only served to sharpen conflicts and instability there. The Fidesz EP group leader accused “left liberals” of using the report to mount an ideologically based attack against Olivér Várhelyi, the commissioner for enlargement, which she said was “unacceptable”. It is “incomprehensible”, she added, that the report “also openly attacks Hungarian companies”, blaming Momentum Movement MEP Katalin Cseh for this. “It’s shocking that a Hungarian left-wing representative has attacked Hungarian companies operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina … baselessly confusing them with Chinese companies,” Gál said.