“In future, the Government will remain committed to the principle that assistance should be taken to where the trouble is”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared in Budapest on Thursday.

At a press conference following a meeting on the European aid programme aimed at handling the consequences of the Syrian and Iraqi wars, the Minister told reporters that the European Union is facing historic challenges, and the most serious of these challenges is linked to migration. “We in Hungary first had to face a large wave of illegal immigration in 2015, and since then we have seen the level of security risk that it brought into Europe”, he said. “The waves of immigration not only represent a risk to target countries, but also to the people who pay people smugglers and become victims after boarding all kinds of tiny boats”, he added.

“Our migration policy is absolutely clear, but most of the world only knows about the part according to which we insist on our right to decide for ourselves who we allow into our territory and who we want to cohabitate with, and that we are protecting our borders, do not allow entry to illegal immigrants, and insist on our national, religious, historic and cultural identity”, he highlighted. “However, People speak less about the other part of our policy, according to which the causes of migration must be eliminated, and assistance must be provided to enable everyone to live in peace and security in their home country or return home as soon as possible. What we regard as a fundamental human right is that everyone must be able to live in peace and security in their own homeland; this is what we must assure”, he emphasised. According to the Foreign Minister, however, for many people it is currently impossible to live in peace in their own homeland, in view of which the international aid provided to countries that take them in must be significantly increased. “Returning home is much more realistic from a neighbouring country that from thousands of kilometres away”, he pointed out.

Mr. Szijjártó also highlighted the fact that Hungary is not just talking about all this, but is also taking action, and although it is not a large country there are certain tasks that it is happy to undertake. “For instance, assisting Christian communities that are in difficulties, in addition to which the Hungarian Government has launched the Hungary Helps Program, which to date has provided assistance to 35 thousand people at a cost of eight billion forints (EUR 24.9 million)”, he explained. “The Government highly appreciates the Ecumenical Aid Organisation, which is participating in the aid programme, for the work that it performs in Hungary and throughout the world to provide support to people in need”, the Minister added.