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SZIJJÁRTÓ: EU SUCCESS DEPENDENT ON MIGRATION POLICY U-TURN

 

The European Union will not be successful on the global stage unless it makes a U-turn on its migration policy, Hungary’s foreign minister said in Luxembourg on Monday, arguing that stopping the inflow of migrants was crucial to ensuring Europe’s security and competitiveness. Addressing a news conference after a meeting with his EU counterparts, Péter Szijjártó said the talks focused mainly on how to make the bloc’s common foreign and security policy more effective as well as on the EU’s global strategy. As regards the latter, Szijjártó said the EU should focus its efforts not on managing the process of migration but rather on stopping it. The EU must not give in to any kind of pressure that leads to the continent getting flooded with immigrants, he said.

The minister also said the bloc was taking too long to sign free trade deals with a number of important partners, adding that this was having a negative effect on its competitiveness. He said the approval of “socialist-type economic strategies” like proposals on tax harmonisation and the communitisation of taxation would also hamper the improvement of the EU’s competitiveness. “These [proposals] would introduce socialism in the European Union, so we oppose them,” he said. “We lived in a socialist dictatorship for a long time and we don’t want to see it come back.”

Szijjártó also warned against what he called the EU’s tendency to “lecture” its partners and member states, saying that if the bloc kept up this practice, it would be neither competitive nor safe. “Sooner or later everyone will have enough of Brussels wanting to tell others how they ought to live in the far reaches of the world,” he said. Szijjártó also talked about efforts to introduce a qualified majority-based decision-making mechanism for the EU’s foreign policy matters. He said the Hungarian government will oppose these efforts at all existing forums. On the sidelines of the meeting, Szijjártó held bilateral talks with his Dutch and Austrian counterparts.