Prime Minister Borissov Meets with Hungarian Counterpart Orban in Sofia
Sofia, February 19 (BTA) - Prime Minister Boyko Borissov conferred here on Monday with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, who is paying a working visit to Bulgaria, the Government Information Service reported.
Speaking to journalists at the Boyana Residence, Orban said that the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council is going well, adding that "half of Europe comes here, which shows the important role Bulgaria plays in European politics".
The two friendly nations have no conflicts in bilateral relations, have a sense of a shared historical fate and have been through many trials and tribulations, the Hungarian Prime Minister noted. Politics is a realm governed by interests, but here in this region, where friendships mean a lot, it seems to be closer to the heart, Orban went on to say, adding that he has expressed the Hungarian people's friendly feelings towards the Bulgarians during his meeting with Borissov. "I see Bulgaria's economy growing and would like for us, the Hungarians, to participate in Bulgaria's development," he said.
The future of Europe was also discussed, with special attention paid to the Balkans, border protection and migration, the guest noted. Orban said that he has congratulated Borissov on his policy, stressing the beneficial development of contacts with Turkey concerning the topic of migration. "We support cooperation with Turkey, because borders must be simultaneously protected, while there are agreements on the matter. Bulgaria can count on our support concerning this," Orban said.
There is a chance to integrate the Balkans in Europe. There are many countries between Bulgaria and Hungary that want to join the EU, the Hungarian government leader said, describing as wonderful the decision to hold a summit this May in Sofia, which will discuss the future of the Balkans in the EU. This will be a decisive congress, because a final answer must be given about Montenegro's and Serbia's EU accession, as well as the subsequent deadlines. It is not sufficient to accept the Balkans to the EU. They must be built into the Union with infrastructure, Orban said. This will be beneficial to all countries from the region, he said, adding that this is why he wishes Boyko Borissov success. According to Orban, Bulgaria deserves to be Schengen.
The new proposal concerning migration is on the EU table, "but it is not good for us in its current form," the guest noted. The mandatory relocation of migrants is at the core of this proposal, while the Hungarian Constitution only allows the Hungarian people to decide who will live in their country, Orban said, adding that having mandatory quotas only stimulates migration. "Some believe that migration is beneficial, but we don't - it is dangerous and that is why we will prepare our own proposal, at the centre of which we will put EU border protection and not relocation," he Orban said. Bulgaria deserves to be recognized for protecting the EU's external border, meaning that it also protects Hungary. Borders can only be protected by decisive leaders, who, if need be, can take actions to reinforce them. There is a need to demand that the EU to carries out its border protection tasks, and if unable to do so, it should be held responsible and have the Schengen border moved inward, the Hungarian PM said.
Borissov said that the agreement with Turkey benefits everyone. Bulgaria has met all the Schengen accession criteria and is protecting the border most dependably. According to the Bulgarian PM, the migration crisis is the cause for the tension in Europe. The EU must be protected and migrants must enter only through border checkpoints and with documents, he added.
There should be security hotspots close to the places of conflict, so that people can return back to their home countries after they are over. "When these conditions are met, we can talk about mandatory relocation," Borissov said. Guaranteeing border protection, having agreements with neighboring countries and hotspots, where the migrants can live, will facilitate the discussion and finding a mutual compromise, he said.