Hungary does not only observe its obligations as a member of the EU, but also significantly contributes to the security of the whole of the EU, Minister of State Szabolcs Takács highlighted. Hungary should be given by the EU all grants in connection with the protection of its borders that it is entitled to under the common regulations; talks between the government and the European Commission began today in the spirit of this principle.

Yesterday Szabolcs Takács, Minister of State for EU Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office had talks in Brussels with respect to the settlement of Hungary’s border protection expenditures. Hungary requests the European Union to contribute to its expenditures related to border protection as the EU did in the case of several other Member States.

Mr Takács told our newspaper he met with the heads of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs. He informed them about the political and legal grounds for the Hungarian request. “In recent years Hungary has played a determining role in the elimination of illegal migration, the country has made extraordinary efforts compared with its size”, he stressed. The Minister of State pointed out Hungary is maintaining the protection of the Schengen Area’s external border from the money of Hungarian taxpayers, and ensures that only those may enter via the Serbian-Hungarian border under ongoing migration pressure who satisfy the conditions of entry and stay.

“Hungary does not only observe its obligations as a member of the EU, but also significantly contributes to the security of the whole of the EU”, he pointed out, and reminded his negotiating partners that the protection of the border had cost Hungary some one billion euros. The talks which began yesterday, Mr Takács informed our newspaper, are about the extent to which the European Commission will contribute to the costs incurred by Hungary in connection with its border protection efforts. He pointed out during the talks that Hungary is requesting the reimbursement of all costs which it is entitled to on the basis of the relevant regulations and which were incurred as part of the work completed in the interest of the protection of the EU’s external border. Commission officials said they will look into Hungary’s request on the basis of the relevant EU regulations, with regard to the principle of equal treatment among Member States. He said funds allocated to border protection in the EU should be increased significantly, but Brussels decision-makers are much more in favour of distribution.

Mr Takács confirmed the Hungarian government’s position is perfectly clear. “Under no circumstances will we accept the quotas. In the past three years we have been saying continuously that we should focus on the protection of the external borders. If they were kept in order, we would not be in this much trouble”, he pointed out. He said Hungary, too, had incurred very substantial expenditures in connection with border protection, similar to other countries. It would be fair if we did not have to bear this burden on our own.