Hungarian PM Urges EU to Offer Schengen Membership to Bulgaria

Politics » DIPLOMACY | January 29, 2016, Friday // 11:54
Bulgaria: Hungarian PM Urges EU to Offer Schengen Membership to Bulgaria Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (R) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban (L). Photo: BGNES

At a press conference during his visit to Sofia on Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called on the EU to offer to Bulgaria membership to the Schengen Area.

Orban assured that Bulgaria is capable of guarding its borders not only against smugglers, but also against migrants.

The Hungarian prime minister said that double standards were applied towards Bulgaria.

According to him, it was unfair that the EU has not recognised the success of Bulgaria in dealing with the refugee crisis.

He also criticised the EU for refusing to admit Bulgaria to the Schengen Area.

In the beginning of this month, Orban said in an interview that Bulgaria should be admitted to the Schengen Area in order for the EU to be able to deal more effectively with the refugee crisis.

During his visit to Sofia last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto reaffirmed his country's support for Bulgarian accession to the Schengen Area in view of the ongoing migrant crisis.  

During the joint briefing with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Orban stated that Europeans are threatened as the migrant issue has become a matter of public safety.

In his words, until now mass migration has been treated as economic and cultural issue, but in the past weeks it has become evident that this is a matter of national security. He also pointed to the increasing terrorist threat.

Orban revealed that a meeting of the Visegrad Group, which comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia will take place on February 15. An invitation for participation in the meeting was extended to Borisov.

At the beginning of his statement, Orban said that together with Borisov they had held very serious and important talks in view of the situation in Europe.

During their meeting, the two prime ministers assessed the state of bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Hungary.

The Hungarian prime minister expressed gratitude to his Bulgarian counterpart for the friendship and cooperation demonstrated in the past years.

According to him, mutual respect was in the foundation of Bulgarian-Hungarian relations, but at present this was absent among the member states of the EU.

Orban identified the economic relations between the two countries as thriving, noting that Hungarian enterprises are treated well in Bulgaria as the country offered fair competition.

The feedback from Hungarian firms pointed to Bulgaria as a stable country where rules were applicable to all.

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Tags: refugee crisis, migrants, Schengen Area, Viktor Orban, Boyko Borisov, Hungary, Bulgaria, border, Peter Szijjarto, migrant crisis, Visegrad Group

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