The European Union must open accession talks with Albania next month, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Friday, adding that the bloc’s failure to start the negotiations would be “unacceptable” to Hungary.
At a joint press conference after talks with Gent Cakaj, Albania’s minister for European and foreign affairs, in Budapest, Szijjártó underlined the importance of stability in the Western Balkans.
Tensions in the region would only provide new opportunities for terrorists and terrorist organisations to enter the EU’s territory by taking advantage of migration waves, he said and quoted reports of “many thousands of migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina about to set off for the EU”.
Szijjártó reiterated Hungary’s support for EU enlargement towards the Western Balkans and Albania’s EU integration.
He said that on June 18, the EU’s General Affairs Council would have to decide on starting accession talks with Albania. It would be “unacceptable” if it did not happen, Szijjártó said. “If 21 days is not enough for European bureaucrats to prepare their proposal, they had better not turn up to take their salary,” he added.
Szijjártó called it “shocking” that the European Commission, “under pressure from France”, has decided not to disclose its enlargement package before the EP elections. He voiced incomprehension at not publishing the package earlier. The EU will only be strong and successful “if it not only talks about enlargement but implements it, too”, he insisted.
his country was working to meet the EU’s accession criteria and its achievements were recognised by the European Council.
Answering a question, Szijjártó said that pro-enlargement members of the EU were in minority because “the large Western countries are skeptical”.
Before the press conference, the two ministers signed an agreement on mutual support in the areas of waste and water management, climate policy, renewable energies and energy efficiency projects.