“Hungary is calling for the decided acceleration of the European Union accession process of the Western Balkan countries”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed on Wednesday in the Polish capital at a podium discussion during the Warsaw Security Forum international security policy conference.

Hungary and the Western Balkans are immediate neighbours. “We know very well the difference between when there is peace, stability and growth in the region, and when these three positive phenomena are not present”, Mr. Szijjártó said at the panel discussion on the EU integration of the Western Balkans.

“Certain historical tensions still exist in the Western Balkans”, the Minister declared. “These, however, can best be remedied using extremely modern methods, such as the new form of integration”, he added. Mr. Szijjártó objected to the fact that the latest European Commission documents state that the earliest possible date for the EU accession of Serbia is 2025. “Why don’t we open all possible negotiation chapters in the case of Serbia and Montenegro, or is there any particular reason why we have not made progress in accession talks with Albania?” the Minister asked.

“We are always complaining about Russia, and other factors that disrupt European integration (…) and do not ask ourselves: instead of listing the excuses, don’t we instead need the European Commission to support governments that wish to join the EU with positive feedback?”, Mr. Szijjártó declared. The Minister called for the European Commission to support governments that are preparing to join the EU instead of listing excuses, in the interests of achieving the required progress.

“EU enlargement in the direction of the Western Balkans is a question of European security”, Mr. Szijjártó stated, pointing out that next year (with the exit of Great Britain) the number of member states will be reduced for the first time in the EU’s history, and this is also a reason why EU enlargement is necessary, the best method of which would be the accession of the Western Balkans.