Hungary Rejects EU-Africa Declaration that ‘Inspires Migration’

Migrants wait to reach the Italian coast on the deck of the Spanish NGO ProActiva Open Arms vessel on the Mediterranean Sea a day after being rescued off the Libyan coast, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. While the number of Europe-bound migrants rescued on the main Mediterranean Sea route has dropped …
Bram Janssen/AP

Hungary has rejected a joint European Union-African migration accord which it says “further inspires migration”.

Representatives from more than 50 African and EU nations signed the declaration at the Fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Wednesday, reports Digital Journal.

The declaration, known as the Rabat Process, covered measures to tackle illegal immigration and repatriation.

But the document also calls for an “approach based on human rights” and the “protection of migrants in vulnerable situations” as well as seeking to eliminate discrimination and racism.

Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita told delegates that, “Migration is here to stay. It will continue to increase irregularly, at worst, and, at best, in a safe, orderly and regular manner.”

Bourita added that Euro-African migration should be based on solidarity with African countries whereby they should not be viewed as “border guards” but partners with Europe in migration.

EU migration commissioner Dimitri Avramopoulos praised the declaration, tweeting that the bloc is “committed to strengthen[ing] our cooperation to address root causes, reduce irregular migration and enhance protection and legal channels.

“Europe and Africa need each other more than ever.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called the Morocco declaration an “extremely pro-migration declaration” that sought to “further inspire migration” rather than stopping mass migration altogether.

“This statement is completely against the interests of Hungary and Europe,” Szijjártó told wire service MTI from Marrakesh, warning that the debate was being dominated by and structured in favour of African countries.

He added that the Rabat Process had “strayed from its original path” and was one of other international debates “signalling an alarming process” on the formation of managed mass migration.

“We will not be complicit in this and will firmly challenge the European intention to change the composition of the continent’s population,” the minister said, condemning the other EU nations’ endorsement of the document as “selling out the continent’s culture and security”.

EU countries such as France have already embraced this partnership with Africa after last year accepting its first 3,000 migrants brought directly from Africa under the country’s new migration initiative.

Last month, President Emmanuel Macron declared that Europe was entering an age of  “unprecedented” mass migration and that the continent “has its destiny bound with Africa”.

After the Euro-African summit closes this week, Morocco plans to host a United Nations migration summit on the 10th and 11 of December 2018, where it hopes to formalise a global declaration.

Such an accord should resonate with the UN’s International Organization for Migration chief William Lacy Swing who last year called for a form of global free movement whereby mass migration is institutionalised and “managed” – not stopped.

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