Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has attended a working lunch with his counterparts from the Visegrad Group and France, where he said the three main risks regarding migration in Europe “are all due to the European Union’s approach”. At the lunch attended by Foreign Ministers Tomáš Petříček of the Czech Republic, Jean-Yves Le Drian of France and Ivan Korcok of Slovakia, and by Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski, Szijjártó said a migration wave would be a “much greater danger for Europe now than it was in 2015, as it would also constitute a serious public health risk besides risks to security and culture”. “Uncontrolled crowds would spread the novel coronavirus extremely quickly,” he added.
Regarding the migration route across the Western Balkan countries, Szijjártó noted that the EU had agreed to pay Turkey six billion euros in support, to be paid until 2018. So far, it has only paid 4 billion, Szijjártó said. This may prompt Turkey to open its borders with Europe for the four million refugees it is currently housing, flooding the Western Balkans with hundreds of thousands of migrants, he said. Another source of danger is the EU’s tardiness in boosting border protection near the coasts of Libya to thwart illegal entry attempts across the Mediterranean, Szijjártó said. The Visegrad Group paid 35 million euros to the European Commission to that end, but the EC has since failed to buy even a single ship, he said.
“The third risk factor is the new migration pact of the European Commission … basically a renewed encouragement for those about to break out for Europe,” Szijjártó said. The pact “clearly aims to push through mandatory quotas and settlement,” he added. The Visegrad Group is in agreement regarding migration, Szijjártó said.
Ahead of the lunch, Szijjártó met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, to discuss issues around migration.