Hungary’s foreign minister has urged the European Union (EU) to expedite expansion of the bloc south through the Balkans in a bid to seal the European continent off from illegal immigration.
Following a meeting of Visegrad nations this week — four Central European EU member states who share a conservative world view and opposition to mass migration —Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó asserted it was time to complete the European project in the Balkans.
The so-called Balkan route has been the primary point of entry for millions of new arrivals into Europe over the past two years, as migrants flooded from Africa and the Middle East. While Hungary and other nations have worked to close the route, Europe’s southernmost nation in the eastern Mediterranean, Greece, has been unable to secure its borders.
Mr. Szijjártó said of the independent Balkan nations, many of which had worked to defend greater Europe from mass migration despite not yet being EU members themselves, that: “The countries of the western Balkans should be strong enough to protect the EU against another wave of migration… The quickest route to strengthening these countries is to offer them accession to the EU.”
In the Balkan peninsula Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia are seeking to join the EU, reports Euractiv. Accession of these nations may yet be years away.
The Hungarian foreign minister may see the 20 million people of the unincorporated Balkan states as an important source of potentially socially conservative voters and administrations to help provide a counterweight to the liberal states of northern Europe like Germany and Sweden.
He said: “We should be enlarging in the upcoming five years. What’s more, we should be enlarging the EU immediately… if the enlargement process is still going to be so slow as it was up until now, this may lead to serious risks both in the security and in the economic dimension.”
The minister’s comments come after Macedonia’s president, Gjorge Ivanov, made frank remarks on how the EU had utterly failed to support his nation, while lavishing money on “non-European” Turkey who even now are preparing to unleash a new wave of migrants on Europe.
Macedonia hasn’t presently begun joining talks with the EU, as their accession has been blocked by Greece who have territory disputes with the nation.
Breitbart London reported the Macedonian premiere’s remarks when he said: “It is not the first time Macedonia has been left in the lurch by the EU, we know that! When we took 360,000 refugees during the Kosovo war, nobody helped us. So now we have responded pro-actively, and we are using the army to protect our borders.
“In the refugee crisis we have been paying for the mistakes of the EU, already we have spent 25 million euros of our own taxpayer’s money… and what did we get from Europe? Nothing… we’re not an EU country, not Schengen, not [a member of] NATO. Nobody wants us. Yet we protect Europe.
“If we had to rely on Brussels, which has failed to act, we would have long ago been flooded with Jihadists.”