Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has initiated discussions in Vienna this Monday on Hungary’s priorities during its upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union, seeking Austria’s support to combat illegal immigration across Europe.
“I am in the Austrian capital as we have begun consultations to ensure that the Hungarian presidency of the EU is successful in its most important priorities,” Szijjártó stated after meeting with his counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg.
Hungary will take over the EU Council presidency on July 1st of this year for a six-month term. The Hungarian minister emphasized that a profound change is needed in Brussels regarding illegal immigration and EU migration policies.
Among other points, he reiterated that instead of allowing immigrants to reach the EU, support should be provided in their regions of origin (such as Africa) through investments and special programs. Policies to curb illegal immigration will be the foremost priority during Hungary’s presidency, the minister stressed.
During his visit, Péter Szijjártó also highlighted the situation Hungary faces with illegal immigration: “They come from the south via the Balkan route, not far away. They have absolutely no right to enter Hungary, no right to violate our borders, and no right to enter the European Union.”
He further emphasized that before reaching Hungarian territory, these illegal immigrants pass through several safe countries that could also offer them asylum if they were refugees. “Thankfully, there is no war in Serbia, no war in North Macedonia, and no war in Greece, so those coming via the Balkan route from the Hungarian-Serbian border pass through at least three safe countries.” “Only we, the Hungarians, have the right to decide who we are willing to live with in our own country,” he concluded.