The European Commission has “derailed” the European Union’s enlargement process, “hugely impacting the security and future of Europe”, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told MTI from Helsinki on Friday, on the sidelines of a meeting of his EU counterparts.
Szijjarto insisted that “Hungary and the EU has economic, strategic, security and political interests” in the bloc’s enlargement with regard to integrating the Western Balkans.
During the entire term of the current commission, the EU “did not co-opt a single new member” and “candidate countries could not take a single step forward in the process”, Szijjarto said. While there has been no enlargement, the EU will lose the United Kingdom via Brexit, he said. “This will weaken the EU and it is also against its political and economic interests”.
“We expect the next commission to increase rather than decrease the number of member states, to accelerate enlargement in the Western Balkans and to open up all chapters in its talks with Montenegro and Serbia,” the minister said.
Concerning the issue of migration, Szijjarto said that “it is in our interest that the Western Balkans should be strong and capable of stopping migration”, adding that this required the region’s integration.
On Thursday the minister said that in the past five years the EC’s decisions had run contrary to Europe’s economic and security interests. Szijjarto said the commission had deepened the migration crisis by opening up its borders and inviting in “hundreds of thousands, or rather millions” of migrants. “This is a clear security risk,” he said.
Szijjarto insisted that the EC “will do everything it can” in the remainder of its term to “take revenge” for Hungarian measures protecting the EU’s borders and keeping migrants out. Reimbursing just one percent of Hungary’s costs incurred to protect he border is one of those steps, he said. “Whatever happens”, the Hungarian government will stand by the fence on its southern border, Szijjarto said, adding that Hungary’s opposition parties, by contrast, promoted illegal migration. The opposition, “doing Brussels’ bidding”, wants to weaken border protection, demolish the fence and let illegal migrants in, he added.
Source and photo: MTI