Brussels’s ‘impotence’ on migration endangers Europeans, says Hungarian FM in EU meeting
Brussels’s “impotence” in dealing with Europe’s migration crisis is endangering the European people, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after meeting his European Union colleagues in Brussels on Monday.
“There is no time to lose in resolving Europe’s migration crisis,” Szijjártó said. The “lack of effective action” on the EU’s part even endangers those who make the trek across the Mediterranean and those who live in Europe “and don’t want to have to worry about more terror threats”, he added.
If the EU finally decides to undertake a mission to protect Libya’s southern border or strengthen its coast guard, the government is prepared to enter into immediate talks on Hungary’s contributions to such efforts, the minister said. The Visegrad Group countries share a common stance on this issue, he added.
Citing conservative estimates, Szijjártó said nearly 1,000 migrants cross Libya’s southern border each day in hopes of making it to Europe. Migrants cross the Mediterranean with the help of people smuggling rings, he said, adding that NGOs helping rescue migrants from sea are believed to have assisted these organisations on certain occasions.
He said tens of thousands of people are endangered at sea on a daily basis, adding that Italy no longer has the capacity or patience to take in any more migrants. The migration crisis has also hurt Europe’s security because of the increased threat of terrorism, Szijjártó added.
Hungary’s government proposes that the EU should first and foremost scrap its mandatory migrant quota scheme, Szijjártó said, arguing that it is “unfit” to handle the migration crisis and only “aggravates” the situation. Further, people smuggling networks should be broken up and the EU must prevent NGOs from helping people smugglers “regardless of whether or not this is their intention”. Finally, the EU should prevent boats carrying illegal migrants from leaving Libya’s shores or at the very least its waters, Szijjártó said.