“The migration proposal put forward by current EU Council President Bulgaria, which is based on the mandatory distribution of immigrants in addition to which it proposes something that poses an extreme danger to Europe, is alarming”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in the recess of the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

In his statement to the international press, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said the essence of the Bulgarian proposal is that migrants should be distributed among member states if a large inflow of immigrants arrives on the continent similar to the one on 2015. According to the Bulgarian proposal “if enough of you come, you will be distributed, so enough of you should come”, which represents an invitation to migrants that is at odds with Europe’s security interests, the Minister underlined.

He drew attention to the fact that the proposal could lead to the establishment of another distribution mechanism with no upper limit or timeframe. If accepted, according to the current situation relocation should begin immediately, and according to Bulgarian calculations the countries of Central Europe would be the main targets of the process. This is completely at odds with common sense and also with the security interests of the people of Europe. The part of the proposal according to which if a country admits immigrants voluntarily it may claim European funding, is also unacceptable, he added.

Hungary must defend its southern borders with all its strength in view of the fact that Austria recently stated that if necessary it will close its borders, Mr. Szijjártó highlighted. Hungary would not like to become a final destination in the case of a significant wave of immigration, as it is clear that the situation in Greece is becoming increasingly worse. According to local sources, the situation is beginning to resemble the state of affairs in 2015. In addition, a new migration route involving Albania and Bosnia-Hercegovina is beginning to appear along the Western Balkan route.

DownloadPéter Szijjártó and Federica Mogherini Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that during the course of bilateral talks he had asked EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to ensure that in future all proposals concerning migration are put before EU foreign ministers or any other body of the Council of the European Union, which is comprised of the heads of government of the European Union’s member states, in such a way that it includes a balanced position. “If certain European countries talk about migration positively, as a process that is integral to global prosperity, then it is justified for the text to also mirror the opinion of countries that regard migration as a security risk”, he underlined.

The Minister also reported on the fact that according to the opinion of the EU foreign ministers, the nuclear agreement with Iran, which includes both economic and security aspects, is the most important diplomatic result ever achieved. The foreign ministers also stressed the extreme importance of dialogue between the United States and the European Union to ensure that interests are not compromised on either side. “From the perspective of the European Union, this is also important with relation to the unity of the EU”, he said.

With relation to Macedonia, Mr. Szijjártó underlined the fact that in Hungary’s view enlargement policy should be one of the European Union’s priority policies. “The Western Balkan enlargement processes, which in addition to being in the European Union’s economic interests are also in the EU’s security interests, must be accelerated. Hungary would like all negotiation chapters with both Serbia and Montenegro to be opened before the end of this year, which would also provide inspiration for the other countries of the region to accelerate the process”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister added.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)