News from Hungary

Supporting Christian communities is a priority goal

In a Europe that has less and less courage to profess its Christian roots, Hungary has identified the goal of supporting Christian communities as a high priority, Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office said at the international conference entitled ‘Development cooperation to eliminate the root causes of migration’ held in Budapest on Wednesday


At the event organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Prime Minister’s Office and the People’s Party group of the European Parliament, the Minister highlighted that it is Europe’s duty to support Christian communities as European cooperation is the heritage of Christian democratic politicians.

In this respect, Hungary wishes to serve as a good example, and this is why it created the Hungary Helps Programme, he said. He added that the help channelled directly to the communities concerned is highly beneficial, and the grants so provided are extremely effective.

He recalled that at the time of the 2015 migration crisis, partly for political reasons, there was a lot of disagreement within Europe, including between Hungary and Germany. However, the significance of this has become secondary, and on some points there is now wide-ranging agreement within Europe. These include the duties to protect the external borders, to grant asylum, and to separate the issue of asylum from the issue of immigration, he listed.

The Minister said Hungary does not wish to give advice to anyone in connection with migration; at best, it can offer to share its experiences. “We have a clear opinion” regarding illegal migration, the protection of the external borders, and the fact that demographic problems should not be solved through migration, he added.

He said Hungary respects the decisions of countries which came to the contrary conclusion and take the view that migration is important in the interest of maintaining their societies. Hungary has chosen to pursue a different path; it has chosen to strengthen elements of its family policy. At the same time, no one can instruct us what to do, and likewise “we do not interfere in” the decisions of other countries, he stressed.

According to Mr Gulyás, Europe should take joint action against the root causes of migration. Recently, these causes such was civil war, climate change and differences in living standards have increased significantly, he said.

Federal Parliamentary State Secretary Maria Flachsbarth urged common European action on the issue of migration. She said there is a need for a common European foreign policy in order to be able provide effective help in the EU’s neighbourhood. She took the view that:

unless the root causes of migration are managed on the ground, people will come to Europe as if they fail to find advancement in their own countries, they will seek it elsewhere. Therefore, opportunities must be created for them in their native land.

People’s Party MEP György Hölvényi said in Hungary providing help has traditions as testified to by the support provided for Hungarians beyond the borders. Hungary believes solidarity is important so that those in need of help should not be compelled to leave their native countries, he said, adding that Hungary can aim for no less than helping those most in need.

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