Illegal migration has endless sources in Africa and Brussels policies that encourage migration lead to a dead end, which endangers Europe’s security, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told MTI by phone from Abidjan in Ivory Coast on Thursday.
Representing Hungary in an EU-Africa summit, Szijjártó said the pressure of migration on Europe is expected to grow further because terrorist activities are destabilising several African countries and many are coping with economic challenges.
Some 400,000 people heading for Europe have already crowded in Libya and the population of Africa is expected to double form the current 1.2 billion by 2050, Szijjártó said.
The summit has proven that European policies that consider migration the best answer to demographic and labour challenges are very dangerous, he added.
“Any encouraging statement could result in thousands or hundreds of thousands of migrants setting off for Europe,” the minister said.
Szijjártó told the summit that Hungary understands if some European countries want to become immigrant countries but it does not belong to them.
“Hungary wants to remain Hungarian. We do not want to become an immigrant country. For this reason, we firmly oppose all European decisions that even slightly encourage migration from Africa or from any other direction,” he said.
Szijjártó met the prime minister of Ivory Coast and the foreign ministers of Egypt, Libya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Botswana and Niger. Several countries share the Hungarian position and are willing to cooperate, he said. For security reasons, African countries oppose masses of people crossing them and it is also against their interest that a significant part of their best workforce leaves, he added.
Several of his negotiating partners confirmed that the cooperation between Africa and Europe should focus on three areas: border defence, support for economic development and scholarship schemes.
“Hungary is ready to assume an important role in all the three areas,” Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary has offered 976 state-funded scholarships to African students at Hungarian universities.