During the present challenge-ridden period Europe is undergoing, there is an especially great need for cooperation between countries of the EU which focus on the issues of security and the protection of the external borders, Deputy State Secretary Pál Schmitt said on 4 September 2018 in Vienna where he held bilateral talks with his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg and other government officials.

The Deputy State Secretary for the Coordination of EU Affairs at the Prime Minister’s Office said at his partner meetings in Vienna that from the respect of the enforcement of Hungary’s interests in Brussels, it is a good opportunity that during this half of the year the EU has a Presidency which seeks to protect the EU’s external borders, supports the Western Balkans enlargement of the EU, and instead of weakening the nation states places emphasis on the principle of subsidiarity. Hungary wishes to provide every support for Austria to ensure that a concept is conceived which is based on the protection of the external borders, rather than on the distribution of immigrants. We sincerely hope that at the summit of heads of state and government to be held in Salzburg in September this direction will gain in support, Mr Schmitt added.

According to the Deputy State Secretary, in the context of the migration crisis the most important conclusion of the past few months is that illegal migration can be stopped not only on land – as Hungary has done since 2015 – but also at sea as the latest measures of the Italian government have demonstrated. Based on this, we believe that the position of pro-immigration countries that Europe must under any circumstances live together with mass immigration and must therefore manage the process can no longer be maintained. By contrast, the conviction of Hungary and the V4 which they have held right from the beginning has proven to be true: economic migration to Europe can be stopped, Mr Schmitt highlighted.

At the talks in Vienna the parties confirmed that in its present form the Commission’s proposal on the EU’s next seven-year budget is unacceptable for both countries. The Deputy State Secretary pointed out the contradiction that the proposal relating to cohesion funds and agricultural grants would worst affect the Visegrád countries, while the economic growth of the V4 countries is twice the EU’s average. Therefore the reduction of funds would debilitate the EU’s economy and competitiveness.

(Prime Minister’s Office)