The Hungary Helps Programme, which coordinates the Hungarian government’s humanitarian efforts in crisis regions, is recognised in North Rhine-Westphalia, Tristan Azbej, Minister of State of the Prime Minister’s Office for Helping Persecuted Christians said on Tuesday assessing his visit to the most populous state of Germany.

In Düsseldorf, capital of the state with a population of almost 18 million, the Minister of State had talks with Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs, several leading members of the state legislature (Landtag) and church leaders.

While naturally the extent to which the various partners represented “the Western European and German pro-immigration position” depended on their respective political affiliations, there were politicians from the Landtag who shared the realisation that mass immigration involves major security risks, for instance, as a result of the activities of people smuggling criminal organisations, he said.

Reaching an agreement on the Hungarian government’s policy rejecting immigration also varied from partner to partner, but “we managed to find common points in every instance,” and everyone described Hungary’s humanitarian policy and the Hungary Helps Programme as exemplary, Mr Azbej highlighted.

He said at his meetings he sought to present the Hungarian approach to migration and humanitarian assistance by highlighting connections between the two, pointing out that the government “is protecting Europe and Hungary with its stringent migration policy,” while with the Hungary Helps Programme it is improving the situation of those living in crisis zones, “at the source of migration,” paying particular, but not exclusive attention to Christian communities.

The basic tenet of this policy is that help must be channelled to crisis regions, instead of importing problems to Europe, he added.

The Minister of State highlighted that as part of his visit, in Cologne he will attend the conference of Hungarian-speaking Catholic priests in Western Europe where he will introduce what Hungary does for persecuted Christian communities, and on behalf of the government he will inaugurate a memorial plaque of Hungary’s last Prince-Archbishop, Cardinal József Mindszenty in Cologne Cathedral.