The Minister of State for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office believes that several European governments continue to support the quotas, and “this threat” is not a thing of the past.

On Monday Szabolcs Takács told the Hungarian news agency MTI by telephone that he had talks in the Netherlands with Michael Stibbe, EU-advisor to the Prime Minister and Thijs van der Plas, Director General for European Affairs of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said: he had talks in The Hague regarding EU affairs.

From among these, he first mentioned the Brexit negotiations, stressing: in these the Netherlands and Hungary share the same interests. As both countries have comprehensive economic and trade cooperation with Britain, their common goal is to minimise the potential damage to economic trade relations after Britain’s exit from the EU and to conclude the widest possible trade agreements.

Security issues also emerged at the meeting, including terrorism and migration, Mr Takács said. He indicated: there are issues on which Hungary agrees with the Netherlands, such as defence issues, the protection of the external borders and providing help for Italy due to the flow of migration coming from Africa. On these issues Hungary too is ready to cooperate, he said.

Regarding the issue of refugee quotas, however, the two countries disagree as the Dutch take the view that refugees are needed. He highlighted: several European governments continue to support the quotas, meaning that “this threat is far from being a thing of the past”.

The Minister of State also said that, according to the Hungarian position, the EU needs a more effective Western Balkans policy because the accession of the countries of the region is a long-term strategic interest. He asked representatives of the Dutch Government to consider this, and to attempt to present Central European and Western Balkans considerations when they address members of the public locally.

Mr Takács mentioned: talks regarding the EU’s budget beyond 2020 will begin next year. In this context, he asked his partners to seek to identify the EU policies which represent an added value for the whole of Europe, rather than for only one region or another. He mentioned cohesion policy and agricultural subsidies as examples. In his view, the parties concerned must reach a consensus on this, and must then define the fiscal resources that should be allocated for these purposes.