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Hungary’s Foreign Minister Advocates EU and Schengen Enlargement as Top Priority for the Bloc


The European Union must view enlargement as a priority, as the integration of the Western Balkans would strengthen the bloc considerably, Foreign Minister of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, has said.

Stressing that the bloc needs “rational reforms”, during the Strategic Forum held in Bled, Slovenia, Minister Szijjártó also said that the EU was in bad shape, with security, economy, and energy supplies weakened.

The minister also considered it shameful that Bulgaria and Romania were still not members of the Schengen Zone.

Szijjártó said that on the matter of energy security, energy supplies must be handled as a purely physical matter rather than a dogmatic, ideological or political one. The minister also noted that the EU’s enlargement is key to resolving these issues.

While referring to the European Council President Charles Michel’s recent statement that the deadline for EU enlargement should be 2030, Szijjártó said that the same could be undertaken “tomorrow”.

Hungarian Minister noted that the EU would become bigger and stronger, with greater room for economic cooperation.

He stressed that enlargement would also embrace the most significant transit route for fossil fuels, stressing that reforms must be rational and based on common sense, giving priority to enlargement and being implemented at the earliest opportunity.

According to him, the situation was a result of a series of failed measures and a lack of action. As for security measures, Szijjarto stressed that while the bloc usually called for peace talks in remote conflicts, now that they had chosen a different path.

He said that if someone stands up for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks, they are condemned and also branded Russian spies, pro-Russian propagandists and friends of Putin.

The share of the European Union of the world’s GDP has slipped from 22 per cent registered in 2010 to 17 per cent recorded today, he said, stressing that China’s slice of that pie has increased from nine per cent to 18 per cent.

Recently, the European Council President Charles Michel, during the Strategic Forum, said that the EU should set a clear goal in this regard.

“I believe we must talk about timing and homework. And I have a proposal. As we prepare the EU’s next strategic agenda, we must set ourselves a clear goal. I believe we must be ready — on both sides — to enlarge by 2030,” Charles said.

According to him, this means that the bloc’s next long-term budget will need to include the EU’s common goals.

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