“Many conflict situations are not moving towards a solution, and these represent new security challenges for both Central Europe and Hungary”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó highlighted on Tuesday at his hearing before Parliament’s National Security Committee.

As a result of global instability, economic downturns and political and military conflicts, the process of migration will become increasingly strong in future, and there is a possibility of a renewed migration crisis, Mr. Szijjártó said.

30-35 million people from the Middle Eastern and North African regions alone, and further millions from the Sub-Saharan region, could decide to leave their current locations, he added.

The Information Office, which will now once again be under the supervision of the Foreign Ministry, will in future continue to act in the interests of enforcing national interests while adhering to the relative regulations and in cooperation with Parliament’s National Security Committee and other partner bodies, the Minister said.

National Security and intelligence cannot be a party political issue, Mr. Szijjártó said.

In reply to a question, the Minister said he is not planning to introduce any changes with relation to the Information Office, and the agency will not be part of any kind of integration process.

As he explained, several new spheres of competence are being added to the Ministry’s portfolio within the new government structure, including tasks relating to international energy negotiations, space research and cross-border economic development programmes.

In addition, the task of ratifying international agreements will also be the Ministry’s task in future.

In recent years, thanks to rapid and deep-rooted processes that have had a major effect, the economic, political and security situations have all changed; we are facing complex security challenges, the Minister said.

Mr. Szijjártó explained the expected future security challenges in seven points.

He pointed out that global, regional and sub-regional alliances are beginning to rapidly collapse, citing as an example the fact that the United States had withdrawn from the Iranian nuclear agreement.

He also spoke about the fact that Hungary is participating in international action to combat terrorism, citing as an example the fact that Hungary has increased the number of its military personnel involved in the global coalition against ISIS to 200. The international coalition has achieved success and liberated some 98 percent of the territories previously occupied by the terrorist organisation, the Minister highlighted, noting however, that it would seem that the terrorist organisation is switching to using sleeper cell and lone fighter tactics.

There is a danger that ISIS fighters, including many European citizens, will attempt to return to the continent, and this could be aided by the onset of a new wave of migration, he said.

He also drew attention to the fact that 937 Hungarian soldiers are currently serving in various foreign missions, and the undertaking of all such military roles increases a country’s threat of terrorism.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, Europe is also facing historic challenges: a debate has developed with regard to the future of the continent.

There is clearly a major level of federalist-sovereigntist confrontation, and these disputes will only become more serious in the upcoming years, the Minister said, noting that countries which do not represent the mainstream are being stigmatised.

He said the debate concerning EU enlargement in the direction of the Western Balkans was an interesting one, explaining that it is unacceptable that the European Commission has stated that the accession of Serbia and Montenegro cannot occur prior to 2025. Euro-Atlantic integration must be accelerated, and all negotiation chapters must be opened with both Serbia and Montenegro, Mr. Szijjártó said.

With relation to energy security challenges, the Minister stressed the importance of increasing diversification, but highlighted: We must take into account where the infrastructure is, where the pipelines are, because Hungary is under an energy procurement blockade from the south.

Neither Romania nor Croatia have completed the development projects that would enable them to also transport natural gas to Hungary, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó said protecting national minorities was a particular challenge, citing as a concrete example the fact that Hungary will continue to maintain its veto of the NATO-Ukraine summit until it receives a legal guarantee that the measures introduced that violate the rights of Hungarian communities will be withdrawn.

With relation to Ukraine, the Minister said he viewed the measures proposed by the Ukrainian President, according to which people who are found to be dual nationals will be stripped of their Ukrainian citizenship, represents another risk to national security.

As the final point of his report, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted the fact that a new industrial revolution is underway thanks to the digital transition.

Hungary would also like to take part in the related fight for investments within the international arena, as a result of which there will be strong competition and possibly conflicts, he explained.

Mr. Szijjártó also told the Committee that his Deputy Minister in the upcoming period will be Levente Magyar, and two of the Ministry’s current four Minsters of State will remain in their posts.

The National Security Committee supported Mr. Szijjártó’s reappointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.