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SZIJJÁRTÓ: EU MEMBER STATES HAVE SOVEREIGN RIGHTS

 

Every country should have the opportunity to provide its own solutions to its demographic challenges, and this did not necessarily have to be in the form of immigration, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said in a lecture at the University of Bonn. Border protection is also a question of sovereignty and even the Schengen Agreement mandates the protection of Europe’s external borders, Szijjártó said.

The minister also said Europe should return to its Christian roots. He called it “unacceptable” that Christian symbols were being removed in certain places in western Europe.

He also touched on the issue of the EU’s next budget, saying that its implementation should be preceded by a fair debate. The distribution of EU funds does not depend on the generosity of western European countries, Szijjártó said. “We have a right to these funds,” he said.

The minister also said the EU should place greater emphasis on the bloc’s enlargement. The larger the EU, the stronger it will be, he argued. Hungary knows what it is like when there is peace in the Western Balkans and also when there is instability, he added.

In response to a question, Szijjártó noted that a few years ago several thousand people crossed Hungary’s border illegally “and it is not clear how they would have had the right to do that”. He said the migrants had rejected any sort of cooperation with the authorities and “took over public spaces”.

Hungary does not judge another country if it wants to build a multicultural society, but other countries should not judge Hungary, either, for following a different path, Szijjártó said.