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Hungary Calls on EU to Accelerate Integration Process for Western Balkans

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, has once again called on the European Union to accelerate the process of integration of Western Balkan countries.

Making such a call, Minister Szijjártó said that the enlargement of the EU would strengthen the bloc as well as would help the Member States better handle migration issues, reports.

The requirement of Minister Szijjártó to the EU to grant entry into the bloc to Western Balkans was made during a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, where he met his counterpart, Elmedin Konaković.

About Hungary explains that during his stay in Sarajevo, Minister Szijjártó said that it has already been shown that the EU made a mistake by not deciding to enlarge the bloc in the past and the same stressed that with the Western Balkans being part of the bloc, the EU would be able to handle more easily different matters, especially illegal migration.

“Should the Western Balkans be part of the bloc, the dramatic impact of the current difficult situation could be handled far more easily,” the statement of Minister Szijjártó reads.

In addition, Minister Szijjártóalso slammed the Member States of the EU for showing support ‘rhetorically’ and then blocking the process.

This is not the first time that the Hungarian authorities required the EU to accelerate the integration process for the Western Balkans. Earlier in November 2022, Hungary made a similar call and said that the slow enlargement process is weakening the EU and is adding up to the crisis.

Following such calls, the EU leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the membership perspective of Western Balkans in December, but no development has been made since then.

In December 2022, the EU said that it is fully committed to the EU membership perspective of Western Balkans, and it also called for rational reforms.

Considering the migration challenges in the bloc and in the Western Balkans, the Commission proposed an EU Action Plan on Western Balkans to address common challenges. The Action Plan on the Western Balkans determines 20 operational measures structured along five pillars, including strengthening border management along the Western Balkan route.

The Western Balkan route continues to register some of the highest numbers of illegal crossings. Data provided by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), show that in January alone, the Western Balkan route recorded 5,751 illegal border crossings, 43 per cent of the total illegal border crossings recorded in all routes.



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