Hungarian Minister: Failure to Work on EU Enlargement in Western Balkans a Mistake | Beta Briefing

Hungarian Minister: Failure to Work on EU Enlargement in Western Balkans a Mistake

Source: Beta
News / Region | 22.03.23 | access_time 14:11

Peter Szijjarto (Betaphoto/Milos Miskov)

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said during a March 22 visit to Sarajevo that it was a mistake the European Union (EU) had failed to support enlargement to the Western Balkans over the past few years, as it would have reduced security risks caused by illegal migration.

“The entire European continent and central Europe are facing severe challenges the war in Ukraine has created, and Hungary is exposed to pressures not only because of the war, but also those from the south, caused by irregular migration,” the minister said after a meeting with his Bosnian counterpart, Elemdin Konakovic.

The situation in Europe makes it very clear that it’s a big mistake the EU has failed to work on enlargement to the Western Balkans before. “Had the region acceded already, we would have addressed the problems and difficulties much more efficiently,” the Hungarian foreign minister said, urging Brussels and individual EU states to “stop making the enlargement process impossible.”

Szijjarto said that the war in Ukraine caused a global crisis in food supply, which he expected to boost migrations. According to the minister, Hungary stopped 265,000 illegal migrants at its southern borders last year, suggesting that better cooperation with the Western Balkans would make his country’s struggle against illegal migration more effective.

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