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European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery]

Remarks by Commissioner Avramopoulos after his visit to Budapest

Budapest, 30 June 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,

First, let me thank the Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó for the kind hospitality during my first visit to Hungary as Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.

Today we had constructive discussions on the migratory inflows, which Hungary currently faces.

These flows are unprecedented and it was obvious during our discussions that we have to find a solution together.

While in recent months most of the migrants came from Kosovo, we now see many coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Managing these migratory flows cannot happen in a one-size-fits-all manner.

People who have the right to claim asylum, must be allowed to exercise it.

But those who abuse the asylum system or come illegally without a valid right to stay, should be sent back. This must be clear.

At the same time, migratory routes are constantly shifting, as smugglers adapt their activity to our responses.

This challenge can only be met if we work together.

Unilateral solutions will only shift the problem to the next neighbouring country. It will not solve it.

So, as I explained to the Ministers, we are ready to support Hungary to manage the flows.

I presented to the Ministers a list of actions to support Hungary:

  • We offered the possibility to deploy ''hotspot teams'' to help in the swift processing of asylum requests and help with the return of irregular migrants. These teams will include experts from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Frontex and Europol in order to improve the capacity of fingerprinting, identify abusive asylum claims, and ensure effective returns.
  • We will provide more than 8 million euros in financial support.
  • We have activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide assistance with tents to temporarily house refugees.
  • We will also cooperate with the Hungarian authorities to organize a high-level meeting on the Western Balkans route in the coming months.

We also agreed that solidarity and the respect of EU rules go hand in hand.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me briefly touch upon the proposal of the European Commission for the emergency relocation of 40.000 persons from Greece and Italy.

I am pleased that the European Council endorsed last week this target.

This shows that solidarity is not just a slogan and that Europe will always support frontline Member States.

We will discuss in detail how this will be done and we will also take into account the increasing migratory pressures on Hungary.

So my message here today is very clear: the Commission will continue to support Hungary; we will stand by your side to tackle together the migration challenges, in a spirit of European solidarity.

Thank you

SPEECH/15/5283

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