The European Union should prevent big tech companies from interfering in the European elections, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister, said in Brussels on Monday.
“Allowing these companies to decide which politicians may use broader and narrower channels to reach the electorate would be dangerous and anti-democratic,” Szijjártó told Hungarian reporters in the break of a European foreign ministerial meeting.
“It would be similarly dangerous if they were to decide which politician is allowed to communicate and determine which is fake and real news,” he said.
Also, cybercrime must be curbed so as to protect families, children as well as “defenceless, well-intentioned and inexperienced users”.
Szijjártó called it especially important to crack down on paedophile crimes committed in the cyberspace.
The European Union needs investments, security and expanded markets in order to be strong enough to defend itself against pandemics and migration waves, Szijjártó said during a break in a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels on Monday.
Perilous times lie ahead for the bloc, he told Hungarian reporters, arguing that the most important developments in the global economy and politics would be shaped by pandemics and migration waves.
To boost investments, the EU must keep taxes low and member states must pursue investment support schemes or risk losing out on high-tech investments to countries outside the bloc, Szijjártó said.
The minister underscored Hungary’s opposition to the introduction of a global minimum tax, saying it would lead to higher taxes and hurt the country’s competitiveness.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said
the key to security was stopping migration waves.
He warned that NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan could again increase migration pressure on Hungary, noting that already thousands of families were fleeing the central Asian country towards Europe each day.
To prevent the emergence of new migration waves, the EU must settle all its unresolved questions concerning migration with Turkey and boost the bloc’s “lines of defence”, he added.
Szijjártó also urged the EU to press ahead with enlargement and integrate the Western Balkans. Serbia and Montenegro should be admitted to the bloc without delay and accession talks should be started with Albania and North Macedonia, he said.
If the EU fails to integrate the Western Balkans, “someone else will”, he warned.