“The protection of the European Union’s external borders cannot be complete if the so-called hot-spots, the centres for receiving and collecting migrants, are not established outside the EU”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared on Hungarian M1 television’s Tuesday morning current affairs program.

“The Hungarian Government is receiving the decision made at the EU summit on the rejection of the mandatory resettlement quotas with restraint in view of the fact that the European Council has already made a similar decision previously, but the resolution of the council of EU heads of government was overwritten with a simple majority vote by EU interior ministers”, Mr. Szijjártó stressed.

He called attention to the fact that the decision on rejecting the mandatory quotas made at the end of June was a victory for the Visegrád Group (V4).

Mr. Szijjártó said that in his opinion, under Hungary’s leadership the V4 had achieved a major success with the decision according to which it will not be mandatory for member states to accept migrants from the soon to be established receiving and collection centres (hot-spots).

According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the fact that political thinking within the European Union has shifted from the mandatory quotas towards border protection may also be regarded as a success. This is the direction for which Hungary has been calling for the past three and a half years, he pointed out.

“It must be recognised, however, that if these receiving centres are not established outside EU territory then border protecting cannot be complete”, he added.

According to the Minister, the key question is that member states and the whole of the EU must decide for themselves who they want to live with. “Meaning this should not be decided by non-governmental organisations that are aiding migration or by people smuggling networks. Particularly in view of the fact that the EU’s current migration policy represents an invitation to 30-35 million people living in the vicinity of Europe”, he added.

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that migration pressure is to be expected along the Balkan migration route in view of the fact that Turkey has terminated its previous bilateral agreement with Greece concerning the reacceptance of migrants.

“In such a situation it is in Hungary’s interests for the line of defence to be drawn as far south as possible. For this reason, amongst other things, we have offered to provide 25 kilometres of border security fence to help reinforce the border between Montenegro and Albania. In addition, Hungarian police are also serving in Macedonia, and have previously assisted with border protection in both Serbia and Slovenia”, the Minister explained.

Speaking on Kossuth Radio’s “180 Minutes” program on Tuesday, Mr. Szijjártó stressed: “Until Europe regains full control over its external borders, the negative aspects of the migration crisis will continue to be part of our lives”. “Accordingly, it must be clearly stated that no illegal immigrants may step onto the territory of the European Union, and that those who are already in Europe illegally must leave”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated.

(Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade/MTI)