Hungary and Germany have a lot of points in common in how they assess the migration crisis, but Hungary rejects mandatory quotas and insists that security is paramount, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said in an interview to German public television Phoenix.
One common area of agreement is that the external EU borders must be protected, he said, adding that Hungary and Germany also help to protect the Macedonian-Greek border with police units.
There is also full agreement on strengthening international development policy, he said, noting that he had signed a water management agreement with Gerd Muller, Germany‘s minister for international development cooperation, covering African and Middle Eastern countries of origin for migrants.
Szijjártó said Hungary rejects the “selective and discriminatory” interpretation of solidarity.
It will not accept the view that protecting the borders is not a manifestation of solidarity, he said in the interview broadcast late on Tuesday.
In the full interview available on Phoenix’s website, the minister said the “Stop Soros” bill aimed to make sure that anyone violating Hungarian national security interests or any organisation supporting border violations and illegal migration should pay the consequences.
Meanwhile, in connection with French President Emmanuel Macron’s EU reform proposals, he noted German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s concern that EU members states still had “homework” to do in structuring their public finances. Hungary, he said, was doing its job in this area but it refused to back efforts by those member states who want to eradicate tax competition through standardisation and to increase the debt repayment obligation at community level. Whereas Hungary does not regard the French President’s proposals as irresponsible, it has reservations.
Regarding the sanctions against Russia, Szijjártó said Hungary had always acted in lockstep with the EU. But
it is unacceptable that its pragmatism based on historical experience is seen as being excessively friendly to Russia,
he added. He referred to “double standards”, citing close ties between German and Russian companies in the midst of sanctions.