Luxembourg, October 12 (MTI) – The European Union still grossly underestimates the dangers of mass migration involving people in the millions, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.
If the EU loses its credibility in the countries that currently host the majority of migrants, its borders will be inundated by millions of new migrants, Szijjarto said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
It is evident that a related agreement is urgently needed with Turkey, as well as with Jordan and Lebanon.
“If the EU cannot regain control of its borders and cannot agree with Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq about ways to contribute to looking after the migrants in those countries, then millions of migrants will be coming”, Szijjarto said, adding that nothing has been achieved in addressing the causes that triggered the migrant crisis in the Middle East or in the fight against the Islamic State.
An agreement is needed “very urgently” with the countries around Syria to hold back the migrants, he said.
Turkey plays a key role in this process, and it is also in Europe’s interest to speed up visa liberalisation and open a new chapter in EU accession talks with Turkey, he said.
There was a serious debate on border protection at the foreign ministers’ meeting, Szijjarto said. The foreign minister of Luxembourg said the protection of the EU’s external borders must be ensured, he added.
“That is a good target but the problem is that it’s not working. If it were working then all those 357,119 illegal migrants who had arrived in Hungary by this morning would not have come,” he said.
If cooperation between the Visegrad countries to protect Hungary’s southern borders proves to be successful, then “nobody will be able to credibly argue” against the 28 EU states joining forces to protect Greece’s external borders.
He said his Croatian counterpart had queried him about why Hungary had built a fence on the border. The rules of the Schengen area oblige Hungary to protect the area’ external borders and ensure that this border can be crossed at designated locations and at set times only, Szijjarto said. Since Croatia’s migrant services system collapsed within 24 hours and Zagreb started transporting migrants to the Hungarian border, Hungary was forced to seal its borders in order to fulfil its Schengen obligations, Szijjarto said.