Progress has been made in the matter of Croatia’s accession, said Foreign Minister János Martonyi on 26 May 2011 in Budapest, at Nézőpont Intézet, a conservative sociological research institute. “Croatia’s accession is now within reach,” he said.
“Things are basically settled. (…) How the event can be technically accelerated will be decided in the upcoming days and weeks. The political ideas have become clear. If Croatia fulfils all the conditions, the accession negotiation will be concluded,” the Foreign Minister said, and added “Croatia’s accession is now within reach, but its exact date is not something to be dwell on.”
Schengen should be improved and not dismantled
Mr Martonyi indicated that Romania and Bulgaria cannot join the Schengen area during the Hungarian Presidency’s term. He mentioned that earlier the enlargement of the Schengen area seemed to fail. “There was a time when it seemed that the issue would slip into the background. But we came out of it as a result of the Hungarian Presidency’s efforts. There was much tension between Member States, but the Hungarian Presidency have made incredible efforts to ease them,” the Minister recalled. Outlining recent developments, the Minister said, “In the Council, we will now point out that Romania and Bulgaria have met the basic technical requirements, which were laid down in the Schengen Treaty, and we would like to set a date for making a political decision, or at least for launching the process,” Mr Martonyi said.
No parallel should be drawn between migration and the accession of Romania and Bulgaria, the Minister underlined. “The Schengen system should be maintained. Nobody questions that it is one of the most important achievements of European integration. It is no good to start weakening the system, this process should be stopped. The Schengen system should be transformed, not dismantled. Control should be strengthened out on the external borders, not the internal ones, as this would damage the system. The Schengen system should be improved and not damaged.
The USA are happy if we promote transformation in the Arab countries
In relation to Libya, the Minister repeated that the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli (now representing the EU as well), will remain open as long as necessary. “We will stay as long as we are needed/” Mr Martonyi set forth that the EU has to assume a role in the transformations of the Arab world by virtue of the ”responsibility to protect people” principle. He said that the world and specifically the US Administration have expectations on the EU, and “they are happy if we promote transformation in the Arab countries”.
Mr Martonyi praised the institution of the rotating Presidency. “It is good that every Member State is given the responsibility and learns from it,” he said.
Central Europe works
He highlighted the cooperation of the Hungarian Presidency and its successor, the Polish Presidency as the expression of Central European identity. “The past few weeks and the business dinner of the General Affairs Council on 23 May 2011, convinced me that Central Europe works. (…) If we can firmly represent the same viewpoint in certain matters; our votes will have such weight that we cannot be disregarded,” the Hungarian Foreign Minister said.