Europe’s immigration policy jeopardises unity, says foreign minister
Prague, June 27 (MTI) – The European Union must give up its immigration policy, which is a hazard for Europe’s unity, Péter Szijjártó said on Monday.
The Hungarian foreign minister spoke after consulting his counterparts from the other three Visegrad countries, Germany and France in Prague.
Szijjártó suggested that the failure of the community’s immigration policy was demonstrated by the recent referendum in which voters of the United Kingdom decided to quit the EU.
Political decisions in the EU “cannot be made disregarding the opinion of European voters,” he insisted.
“The British referendum has clearly demonstrated that the people of Europe would not accept the decisions of European bureaucrats, passed in a closed circle and behind closed doors, concerning issues for the future, such as with whom they should live together”, the minister said.
“Europe needs honest policies rather than hypocritical approaches; we must call a spade a spade, and give real answers to real questions,” Szijjártó went on to say.
The Britons should not be criticised, Szijjarto said, because they have the right to determine their own future and that decision should be respected. The EU, on the other hand, needs self-reflection and should change things that made the UK leave the community, he added.
Szijjártó also criticised “hysterical reactions” to the British referendum, and said it was “not right” to put pressure on the UK government. “It is up to the Britons to decide when they file their request to leave the EU,” he insisted.
The minister noted that “hundreds of thousands of central Europeans” were employed in the British economy, as an example for priorities to be considered during the Brexit talks. “It is not at all unimportant what deal the parties will arrive at, and what future regulations will apply to those people,” he said.
Szijjártó also said that the EU had no experience in members quitting, and the “framework for exit talks is rather uncertain”. He called for as much dialogue between member states as possible.