There is agreement that Europe’s security must be enhanced. The only issue on which there was no agreement was the crossing of the green border, Interior Minister Sándor Pintér said after he had talks with Dimitris Avromopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.
Mr Pintér said: they also agreed regarding the procedures that must be introduced at the border crossing stations in the case of third-country nationals and EU nationals entering and exiting the territory of the EU.
There was, however, no full agreement on the issue of the crossing of the green border between the parties, though positions began to converge, Mr Pintér pointed out. He added: they agreed to adopt a joint position on this matter by the summer.
Justice Minister László Trócsányi said that at the meeting they sought to answer questions regarding the necessity and proportionality of the new Hungarian legislation related to migration. He stressed: the Hungarian Government is ready to engage in a dialogue, and has a vested interest in the settlement of the disputes within normal boundaries.
According to the Government’s position, the legislation is adequate, he stated, but they await any remarks and comments to which they will respond.
Dimitris Avramopoulos stressed: two years ago, there were only scattered initiatives regarding migration, while today there is a comprehensive approach, and Hungary, too, is a party to this comprehensive approach. He pointed out: the European Union continues to remain committed to the security of Europe.
Dimitris Avramopoulos described the reinforcement of the external borders and the establishment of cooperation schemes with third countries as effective and successful. He added: thanks to the agreement with Turkey which is fully operational also at present, the number of migrants arriving has decreased dramatically. In his evaluation, the Western Balkans route, too, has stabilised, but there is a continued need for its monitoring, and the struggle against people smuggling in cooperation with Europol must also be maintained.
He mentioned: the common European border and coast guards are working together with 1,350 officers in the interest of the protection of the borders, and the negotiation of the status agreements with Serbia will begin next month. He said: the purpose of these agreements is to have the possibility to deploy the common European border guard forces also on the borders of Serbia, from which Hungary will benefit as well.
The measure which requires the controlling of entrants, including EU nationals, too, contributes to the security of the external borders. He expressed hope that they will be able to make swift progress in the next few months in the entry and exit systems.
The EU Commissioner pointed out: the challenges of migration can only be conquered through joint and coordinated efforts because whatever happens in Syria, its effects will be felt not only by Greece or Italy, but by other States as well, including Hungary.
„We profess together that we help everyone who needs our help, by acting humanely and respecting human dignity”, the EU Commissioner pointed out. He added: at the same time, we must fight against the abuses related to asylum proceedings. We must ensure that the decisions are also reviewed in a fair manner, he said.
Regarding the Tuesday meeting, he said: they discussed the new legislation concerning migration, and the new procedures that Hungary will adopt in conjunction therewith. He added: the meeting was conducted in a friendly, positive atmosphere, and the parties agreed to set up an expert task force with a view to upholding EU law and achieving the common goals.
He stressed: all Member States unanimously accept and adopt the EU principles, about the implementation of which they also spoke. He said: „an EU where solidarity is chosen a la carte cannot be a well-functioning union”. He added: when people in need of protection are resettled, and when all those who have no right to stay in the EU are sent back, these procedures must be conducted in harmony with EU law.
Dimitris Avramopoulos took the view that this is the way to prevent the imposition of a disproportionately large burden on some Member States, and the reinstatement of controls within the Schengen Area. He remarked: he understands why Schengen is important for Hungary. He knows well that Hungary fought for the free movement of people in Europe, and would therefore not like to return to a period when this is not possible once again.
The EU Commissioner added: he will pay a visit to the Budapest-based European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), stressing that the security which is the result of the cross-border cooperation of police officers is essential for the European Union and its citizens.