Good afternoon. Greetings to you all.
A lot has happened since the last meeting of the V4 [Visegrád Four] prime ministers, and so we have had some excellent and substantive discussions, for which I thank my colleagues. We see Visegrád cooperation as a thirty-year success story. Visegrád cooperation came about because we shared the conviction that we had common interests and many common positions. This is still the case today. We are bound together by concrete, burdensome matters, and it is easier for us to answer questions on these matters together rather than separately. For us this is why the Visegrád Four still has a future. Our common challenges are illegal migration, the energy crisis, preventing economic recession, and protecting the external borders of the Schengen Area. Hungary is in a special situation: we are the only country in Europe that has to deal with two migrant crises at the same time; everyone else has to deal with one, or none. But because of our geographical location, this year more than a million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Hungary. A large number of them have gone on, but we have had to receive them and care for them; and this year we have stopped more than 250,000 illegal border crossings at our country’s southern borders. Hungary is a country that is under migration pressure from two directions at the same time. We have spent more than one and a half billion euros on border protection, we have formulated numerous laws, and we have fought numerous battles with Brussels – which has been continuously attacking Hungary’s border defence operations. I agree with my colleague, Mateusz [Morawiecki]: as we are facing a protracted war in Ukraine, in the period ahead the migration pressure from Ukraine will increase; and the V4’s demand that the EU should also assume some of this burden is a fair demand. In the coming period we should also expect migration pressure from the south to increase – partly due to the war, and partly due to other events. This is why I have informed my colleagues that, together with Serbia and Austria, we have set up a new formation to help one another in border defence. The Serbian-Hungarian border cannot be defended any better than it is being defended now, so it is not this border that needs to be strengthened: the defence line needs to be moved further south, to the border between North Macedonia and Serbia. We have concluded an agreement to mobilise troops, equipment and financial resources, which will enable us to mount a defence in the south against illegal migration. I have asked my colleagues to consider whether they can contribute to this border defence cooperation between Serbia, Austria and Hungary. I have received a positive response, and at our next tripartite meeting in Vienna I will therefore recommend to the President of Serbia and the Chancellor of Austria that we accept the offers of assistance in the defence of our southern borders which have been made by Czechia, Slovakia and Poland. I thank you for these in advance.
And on the NATO question, I am able to tell you that the Government has already decided, and we have ensured that both Finland and Sweden have been informed. Hungary supports these two countries’ membership of NATO, and the Hungarian parliament will put this on its agenda for its first sitting next year – as has been requested of Hungary by the other three prime ministers of the V4. I would like to stress that the Swedes and the Finns have not lost – and will not lose – a single minute in the accession procedure or of their membership because of Hungary. Following the Government’s lead, in Parliament Hungary will certainly give them the support they need for their accession.
Thank you very much.