Only a strong Europe comprised of strong nations can give the right answers to the challenges of our time, including the migration crisis, Justice Minister László Trócsányi said on Sunday at the Budapest migration conference of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC).

Opening the third and last day of the event, Mr Trócsányi said he believes it is not right for the Member States of the European Union to lecture one another, and he therefore hopes that instead of “intellectual totalitarianism” a meaningful debate will start about migration and security.

The Minister also said that those – similar to the Hungarian government – who see mass migration as something negative are perhaps still in the minority today, but he believes that more and more European citizens and leaders are beginning to share the view that this process jeopardises the identity of the Member States and the entire continent.

The Justice Minister recalled that earlier Hungary had been heavily criticised at the time of the construction of the security border fence; the fence erected on the southern border was likened to the “Iron Curtain” and the Berlin Wall. He said it is important at the same time that while many years ago the “Iron Curtain” was erected as a barrier in order to split the world into two on ideological grounds, the Hungarian border fence was erected to guarantee that Hungary’s borders can only be crossed in a regulated manner, in accordance with the relevant international regulations, and to ensure the protection of our borders.

According to Mr Trócsányi, international crises, migration and terrorism have lent border protection a new kind of significance which is, however, perceived in different lights by those living in the EU’s interior countries without borders and those living in the countries which protect the external borders of the community.

He stressed that those who regard migration as useful and inevitable are equally wrong. According to Mr Trócsányi, this is proved by the ineffectiveness of the “Brussels relocation plans” and the so-called quota decisions as they call into question the sovereignty of countries to decide themselves about their own populations.

The Minister pointed out that in the context of migration eliminating the root causes, meaning the various local conflicts represents the most important task.

He highlighted that in this every country has a different kind of responsibility, depending on its own geopolitical situation. According to Mr Trócsányi, Hungary’s responsibility extends primarily to the territories with which it has maintained historical relations. He mentioned as examples the Western Balkans and Ukraine, and underlined that Hungary is well-known for its solidarity which it amply demonstrated by having taken in tens of thousands of people who were forced to flee during the Yugoslav Wars as well as with the Hungary Helps Programme which is under way also at present.