Migration for the European Union and Hungary raises the question whether “we can protect our borders”, President János Áder said, addressing the meeting of the Arraiolos Group in Malta on Friday.
In his address, Áder called for a collective effort in controlling the community’s borders, and said that European legislation concerning migrants must not curb the rights of member states. “Accommodating immigrants is a national competency,” he said.
Although several countries see immigration as a resource to tackle their demographic problems, Hungary has “chosen a different path and cannot be forced to follow suit,”
Hungarian president insisted.
The president said that refugees in need must be assisted, but added that “seven out of ten illegal migrants arriving in Europe have chosen to come to the continent for economic reasons”. He also suggested that migration cannot be handled purely as a humanitarian issue and pointed to security and criminal ramifications.
“Masses of people are arriving uncontrolled, as well as illicit drugs and weapons, and the number of crimes has increased,” he said.
Áder advocated “exporting a solution” rather than “importing the problem” and warned that a shortage of water and food in Africa threatened Europe with an ever increasing wave of migrants in future.
Europe cannot accommodate 50 or 100 million people, while it cannot provide sufficient aid (outside the community) without external resources, Áder said and called for cooperation by the US, Canada, Australia and China.
On the sidelines of the meeting,
Áder held talks with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, his German counterpart.
After the talks, Áder quoted Steinmeier as saying that ties between Germany and Hungary are strong enough to stand the test of “everyday disputes” over domestic affairs or migration policy.
The Arraiolos Group of presidents of European parliamentary democracies has met for the 13th time since its foundation in 2003.