Plans to build migrant camps in Libya accord with the Hungarian government’s stance aimed at halting illegal migration outside the European Union, János Lázár, the government office chief, said on Thursday.
Lázár noted at a weekly press briefing that for the past two years the government had proposed creating hotspots outside the bloc. Migrants staying at the facilities would be made to follow necessary procedures, he said, adding that the government supported endeavours to return migrants to their homelands and eliminate the causes of migration.
In the first eight months of the year, 773 migrants entered Hungary illegally, Lázár said. Without Hungary’s fence along its southern borders “the numbers would be comparable to two years ago,” he added.
On the subject of EU action taken against Poland, Lázár said that the European Commission and Germany had “launched a campaign” against Poland and were applying “double standards”. Hungary supports the Polish people and their government, he said.
Hungary rejects the European Union’s use of “double standards” against any member state, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said at a press conference on another subject on Thursday.
“We reject the European Union applying double standards against any country, and unfortunately we can see the European Commission’s strong use of double standards in the case of Poland. This is unacceptable,” Szijjártó said in response to a question about EU-Poland relations after talks between EU and Eastern Partnership country officials.
It would be preferable if EU institutions “focus on doing their real jobs instead of singling out … and chastising certain member states for no reason”, the minister said. The EU’s security situation “has never been as bad as it is now”, Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary would not support any EU measure that would hurt Poland.
Meanwhile, Szijjártó said that whereas the EU was experiencing “expansion fatigue”, the V4 was committed to further EU integration and speeding up this process with respect to the western Balkans. He said he was hopeful that the number of EU member states would increase in the near future, adding that “we reject the European Commission president’s declaration that there will be no further expansion of the bloc in the next five years”.
Asked about a recent visit to central Europe by French president Emmanuel Macron — who met the Czech and Slovak premier but not Hungary and Poland’s — Szijjártó said that attempts had been made in the past to disrupt the V4 but to no avail. He said V4 cooperation would continue to be the most effective and closest alliance within the EU. He also noted that the PMs of the V4 had already met the French president in June.
Photo: MTI/AP/Darko Bandic