“The Visegrád Group (V4) expects the acceleration of the enlargement process from the new European Commission”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Monday.

Following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the four Visegrád Group countries, Mr. Szijjártó stated: “One of the greatest failures of the European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker was the almost total discontinuation of the enlargement process. For this reason, we expect the new European Commission to open a new era with relation to the enlargement of the European Union and the integration of the Western Balkans”. He declared that he is convinced that the field of enlargement is in good hands with Hungarian Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. “We agreed that the V4 will be supporting the efforts of the Hungarian Commissioner for Enlargement to accelerate the enlargement process”, Mr. Szijjártó added.

“We think that the policy of recent years that made enlargement impossible was totally in opposition to the interests of the European Union”, the Minister explained. “It is in the political, security, economic and strategic interests of the EU, and within it Hungary, for the Western Balkan region to be integrated into Europe at the earliest opportunity, because it will enable it to withstand migration pressure much better”, the Minister underlined.

Mr. Szijjártó said the Finnish EU presidency had been a failure in view of the fact that it had been incapable of opening a single new negotiation chapter of the enlargement process in six months, something which has never occurred before. The Finns did not concentrate on their true task, but were more concerned teaching the countries of Central Europe a lesson, he noted.

In reply to a question from MTI on whether the V4 foreign ministers had discussed German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer’s proposal concerning the admitting of refugees, Mr. Szijjártó said that the topic wasn’t on the agenda, but that the position of the V4 is absolutely clear: “We are not prepared to admit a single illegal immigrant into Central Europe”. “Central Europe’s success and its security are precisely the result of the fact that we are practicing strict anti-migration policies, and we will continue to do so in future”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out. He explained that the countries of the Visegrád Group insist on their national identity and on their cultural, religious and historic heritage, explaining that in his view this is probably why Central Europe is now one of the European Union’s most successful regions and clearly the engine of European economic growth. “We are not prepared to admit a single illegal immigrant. We will not accept any application of pressure, and insist on our right to decide for ourselves who we allow into our country and with whom we want to coexist”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in Prague.