“Hungary supports the affirmation of European defence cooperation”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó declared at a press conference in Brussels to mark a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers.
“The Hungarian Government supports the preparations for the plan on the establishment of a joint European army and the goal of making Europe capable of operating and performing peace-making and peacekeeping missions in neighbouring regions”, Mr. Szijjártó explained.
According to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the recent mass and uncontrolled wave of migration has also led to a never before seen increase in the threat of terrorism, which requires the EU to place the security of the continent and its citizens at the focal point of its politics.
“The European Union must provide a rational response to the security policy situation that has developed by reinforcing NATO’s European “legs”, because conflicts that develop in the neighbourhood of Europe have a very serious and immediate effect on the security of Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó said.
The Minister stressed that in the interests of avoiding possible parallels, the expansion of the European Union’s defence capabilities must occur in harmony with its NATO commitments. “In addition, Hungary would like the issue of security cooperation to remain an inter-governmental sphere of cooperation”, he said.
Mr. Szijjártó stressed that the stability of the regions neighbouring Europe is also extremely important with relation to handling immigration, because through stability the European Union could establish registration centres outside its territory in the interests of reducing immigration pressure. In reply to a question he said that he could imagine such centres being set up outside Europe, and not just outside the territory of the European Union. Mr. Szijjártó also mentioned that he and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who is also attending the meeting, had agreed that the security of Europe is to a great extent dependent n the stability of Egypt. “There are some 5 million potential immigrants waiting to set out for Europe in the North African country”, he said.
In the interests of preventing this, the ministers argued that Europe should support Egypt’s campaign to draw attention to the dangers of illegal migration. With relation to the growing and increasingly serious tensions and conflicts appearing in the Western Balkan region, Mr. Szijjártó stressed that the best way of combatting these was European integration.
According to the Minister, if the EU does not accelerate its enlargement processes with the countries of the Western Balkan region, and if it does not refrain for interfering in Macedonia’s internal affairs or Serbia’s minority policies in an “uncontrolled manner”, it could have unforeseeable results. “This could affect the region’s stability, and accordingly the security of Europe, in addition to which Europe would lose its favourable position in the region by allowing other members of the global political arena to enforce their own development paths in the region”, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.