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Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, in a lecture at the University of Bonn, argued for a strong Europe composed of strong nation states.

“If there is any country that needs a strong Europe, it is definitely Hungary,” Szijjártó said, noting that Hungary, located in the middle of Europe with an open economy, has a history of losing out in conflicts between east and west.

Europe, he added, faces historic challenges, so it is natural that there are debates about its future and on how to secure a strong Europe.

Whenever “someone strays from the mainstream” in the debate on the European Union’s future, it is wrong that they immediately get labelled “un-European”, he said.

Szijjártó said some wanted weak EU member states within a kind of united states of Europe. Yet strong integration between weak countries is hard to achieve, he argued, adding that Hungary believes strong member states are needed.

Szijjártó named migration among the EU’s ongoing challenges. He said migration had heightened the threat of terrorism in Europe. When hundreds of thousands are allowed to enter the continent unchecked, certain terrorists take advantage of such a lax policy, he said. This is why migration is also a security issue, he said.