Szabolcs Takács, Minister of State responsible for EU affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office had talks in Finland and in Estonia which will assume the EU Presidency as of 1 July, and reassured his hosts that no illegal migrant will gain access to Northern-Europe or to any other country from the territory of Hungary.

DownloadPhoto: Prime Minister’s OfficeIn answer to the enquiry of the Hungarian news agency MTI, the Minister of State said that in both countries he met with government officials responsible for EU affairs at the level of State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister as well as with Members of Parliament and committee leaders with experience in EU affairs. He reiterated that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hosted his counterpart Jüri Ratas only on Monday in Budapest in order to conduct consultations, in line with the general practice, regarding the prospective EU Presidency.

The Minister of State pointed out that Estonia is taking over the Presidency in an unprecedented situation: at the beginning of the exit talks of a Member State, the United Kingdom. He reiterated that on Monday the Council comprised of the Governments of EU Member States adopted the proposal of the European Commission regarding the launch of the exit talks, and as a result, even the last hurdle has been removed from the commencement of the negotiations.

Mr Takács discussed the latest developments of the British exit (Brexit) with his Finnish and Estonian negotiating partners. The Minister of State informed his Estonian counterpart that Hungary supports the Commission’s proposal and efforts, and would like to see eventually a win-win situation for both the European Union and the United Kingdom. Hungary has no interest in the downgrading of relations, but has in actual fact a vested interest in maintaining as comprehensive a set of relations between the EU and Britain as possible after a fair exit, he said.

DownloadPhoto: Prime Minister’s OfficeAt the talks, the parties also discussed migration. Mr Takács sought to place the emphasis on the mutually advantageous long-term elements at the talks, discussing as to how the process of migration could be placed under control best. He repeatedly highlighted that Hungary supports the German-Italian initiative, based on which the EU should set up a border controls mission at the border of Libya and Niger, and attempts should be made to control the flow of African migrants outside Europe, in Africa. He stressed: Hungary is able to guarantee that migrants will not gain access either to Northern-Europe or anywhere else illegally from the territory of Hungary.

The parties further discussed the reforms that would be necessary for retaining and reinforcing the EU’s economic competitiveness. Mr Takács drew attention to the fact that the Hungarian economy is one of the EU’s best performing economies, takes the EU’s economic and financial regulations seriously and observes them, and reinforces, rather than weakens the EU.

(MTI/Prime Minister's Office)