“The European Union should admit Montenegro and Serbia before 2025; both countries are essentially ready for accession, which is also in the interests of the EU”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó emphasised at the Warsaw Security Forum in the Polish capital on Wednesday.

At one of the podium discussions at the two-day international security policy conference, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said: “The EU is facing historic challenges, and in recent years success has unfortunately avoided the European Union, whereas amidst the current highly stormy global economic and global political conditions the EU could do with some good news, such as accelerated enlargement, for instance”.

“Montenegro and Serbia are essentially ready for accession, and the integration of the Western Balkan region is in the EU’s political, economic and security interests”, he underlined.

The Minister cited the reduction in the number of EU member states being caused by the exit of Great Britain as one of the reasons why enlargement is in the political interests of the EU.

With relation to the economy, Mr. Szijjártó said that in his view: “It would be advantageous to all EU member states, including Hungary, if the countries of the Western Balkans, the number one trade partner of all of which is the EU, could be part of the European free trade zone”.

From a security perspective, the Minister declared: “The further south the southern border of the European Union extends, the further south we can stop the waves of illegal immigration”.

“We do not share the position of the current European Commission, according to which there will be no EU enlargement before 2025; this needs to occur must earlier. We cannot point fingers at others with relation to this topic; the step depends exclusively on the European Union”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said emphasised.