Budapest, October 21 (MTI) – Hungary’s standpoint is that migration is not a good solution to Europe’s labour-market problems or its demographic challenges, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told public television on Friday.
At the start of the week in Luxembourg, European Union foreign ministers debated the EU’s global strategy, and it appears that it has not been possible to change minds at EU institutions on the focus of immigration policy, he said. The issues of distribution and broadening channels of migration are still on the table, serving as inspiration to migrants preparing to travel to Europe, he added.
Hungary’s standpoint is the opposite, the minister said. It believes that the pressure of migration must be eliminated, since migration is not a good salve for the continent’s problems, he added.
Szijjártó said this is why a unilateral declaration was appended to the EU strategy, making it clear that “no strategy accepted by any EU body can override” the sphere of authority of member states when it comes to immigration regulations, “and no one can force upon us an immigration policy that the Hungarian people reject.”
Speaking on the topic of Britain’s exit from the EU, Szijjártó said that Hungary is insistent that economic, trade and investment ties between the EU and Britain should remain as flexible as possible and the over three million EU citizens working in Britain should have their rights protected. He added that he had talked to British government ministers about the Hungarian community in the UK, and everyone he spoke to said it was without question that Hungarians contributed towards the country’s development.
In connection with the situation in Syria, the minister said that a political solution rather than a military one was needed, but this was becoming “ever more remote”. The EU has a limited role to play, and an agreement is needed between the United States and Russia.
In a separate interview to public radio on Friday, Szijjártó said that the EU had made a mistake in respect of Turkey by allowing the impression to grow in the country that there was a direct link between sticking to the deal on keeping back migrants and visa-free travel to the EU for Turks. Now the EU is on a “forced track” to fulfilling its side of the visa bargain. At least, however, there is less migration pressure thanks to the sealing of the western Balkan route, he said, adding that the issue of Syria would influence future developments and could upset the current fragile situation.
Photo: MTI/EPA/Georgi Licovszki