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Viktor Orbán: Serbian membership is in the interest of the EU

Magyar Nemzet
2022.11.17. 16:01 2022.11.17. 16:03
Viktor Orbán: Serbian membership is in the interest of the EU

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed migration along with other pressing issues with the Serbian and Austrian heads of state at the Belgrade summit. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer held a press conference together after signing an agreement to cooperate more closely in an effort to curb illegal immigration. 

From Hungary’s perspective, it is absolutely clear to the world that the country key to Europe’s security is Serbia. When Serbia defends its own borders, then it is not only defending itself but also Hungary, Austria, and the entire European Union. This is why we owe Serbia respect and gratitude. It is also clear from this perspective that Serbian membership in the EU is in Europe’s interest. It would be much easier to manage the issue of migration and we would be able to defend against migration more easily if Serbia were a member of the EU

– said Viktor Orbán. 

“Hungary also encourages the European Union to enable Serbia’s full EU membership as soon as possible. Until that happens, our only goal can be to push the defence lines as south as possible. We will establish a common border defense with Serbia and Austria,” announced the Prime Minister. He added that Hungary will immediately make the necessary personnel and technical equipment available for these purposes.  

We must recognize that this is not a short-term problem. The problem, the issue we call migration will be with us for a long time and that is why we need long-term cooperation and solid structures. Today, we took important steps in this direction

– announced the Prime Minister. 

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also thanked President Vučić for the past years of cooperation and, as he said, “there is something really special in Serbian-Hungarian cooperation… There is a good term for this in Hungarian that we use: we are in a community of destiny. Being a part of a community of destiny means that you are together through the good times and the bad; sometimes it is you helping the other, other times you are on the receiving end. This is not a matter of politics, but rather survival instinct. Nations after all have survival instincts just as individuals do – and the Hungarian instinct along with the Serbian I believe, is to work together as we are together in our destinies. We are striving to achieve this in the past few years and I am thankful to President Vučić that he represents the best partner from Serbia in the history of Hungary,” said the Hungarian PM in Belgrade.  

The Serbian President pointed out that migration has doubled in the recent past. Aleksandar Vučić also reported that Serbia has begun aligning their visa policy with the European Union’s and he thanked Viktor Orbán for enabling the use of Hungarian gas storage facilities to meet Serbian needs.  

For the most part, illegal migrants are pouring into Serbia from the borders along North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Both the Hungarian PM and the Austrian Chancellor stated that, in addition to police forces, they support the border guard with equipment, drones and thermal cameras. Chancellor Nehammer pointed out at the press conference that the EU’s refugee policy has failed, thus new modes of cooperation must be established. He assured Serbia of Austrian support in the fight to prevent illegal migration as well as in the effort to join the EU. In the press conference they also discussed the increasingly aggressive behaviour from the illegal migrants and human traffickers against authorities. More and more migrants want to enter Hungary illegally, and human traffickers are helping to make this happen. 

More and more often they are not just storing weapons in their bags and pockets, but actually using them. 

In the recent past, small to big groups of migrants are arriving to villages near the Hungarian border. They say they are from the Middle East: from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria as well, and several African countries. This year alone, over 250 thousand individuals have tried to cross the Hungarian border illegally – almost twice as many as last year all year. Compared to 2020, there almost five times as many trying to violate law. 

The number of human smugglers has significantly increased as well: in 2020, 455 were taken into custody, last year over 1200, and this year more than ever – 1624 thus far. 

 The first Hungrian-Austrian-Serbian summit was held in Budapest on October 3rd. The main topic of discussion there was also illegal migration. The third part of the meeting will most likely be in Vienna. 

Photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Fischer Zoltán

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