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SZIJJÁRTÓ: CHANGE NEEDED IN EUROPEAN MIGRATION, AFRICA POLICIES

 

The EU should pursue radically different policies on migration and Africa in order to prevent the emergence of more serious crises, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Brussel on Saturday. The ministry cited Péter Szijjártó telling a press conference after an informal meeting of the EU foreign affairs council that the security of the continent started “in Africa which undoubtedly faces some very serious challenges”. If Brussels maintains its current migration policy, the African continent’s problems will affect Europe, which would be “hardly able to handle them”, he said. Africa’s population has increased by 590 million in the past 20 years and is estimated to grow by an additional 750 million in the upcoming 20 years, which in itself is more than the population of Europe in total, Szijjártó said. “The question is whether the African population growing by a significant extent, by many million people, stays in Africa or they set off towards Europe,” Szijjártó said. “The answer depends on whether Africa will be a secure place in terms of physical and economic characteristics,” he added.
“Radically different European migration and Africa policies are needed, security must be created on the continent with the help of economic development, and help must be provided to fight the increasing threat of terror,” Szijjártó said. Hungary has taken its share in preventing further waves of migrants to take off towards Europe, he added. “Over five years, we have provided some 100 billion forints (EUR 260m) worth of development resources to African countries to help them modernise their water management systems and ensure that people have clean and healthy drinking water, and are able to develop health-care services, education and public administration,” he said. Additionally, the government provided some 6.5 billion forints to support Christian communities to stay in their home, and offered 1,460 young Africans scholarships annually to study in Hungarian universities, Szijjártó added. Terrorism especially affects the Sahel, and the government therefore works together with the countries of the region ready for cooperation in order to reduce the threat of terror and consequently the pressure of migration, he added.