The foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, on Thursday met with the French foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian in Bratislava to discuss issues regarding the future, security and competitiveness of the European Union.
At a joint press conference with his counterparts after the event, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the most important objectives for Hungary regarding the future of the EU are reviving the bloc’s competitiveness and security.
“We, central Europeans, have done extremely well in these aspects… so we are justified in making propositions,” Szijjarto said. Growth in central European countries has outstripped the EU average and its policies focusing on citizens’ security have succeeded in stemming the inflow of migrants, he said.
The bloc’s competitiveness can only be maintained through a robust inner competition, Szijjarto said. Large countries should therefore refrain from passing regulations curbing the competitiveness of central and eastern European members, he added.
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One such regulation would be tax harmonization, which would lead to steep tax hikes in those countries, he said. Thanks to their strong financial and budgetary discipline, CEE countries can afford lower taxes, he said.
It is “unacceptable” that France should aim to “pass on” the effects of its “irresponsible tax policies” to Europe, he said.
Regarding security in Europe, Szijjarto said “it was high time” that the EU stopped “organizing migration” and set about stopping it. Stopping migration is especially important now that the terrorist organization Islamic State has been defeated and “thousands of mercenary terrorists are making their way back to Europe”, while tens of thousands of migrants are stranded in the Western Balkans, waiting for access to the EU, he said.
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