President: Migration crisis is EU's most serious problem
The ongoing migration crisis is the most serious problem the EU is dealing with today. I hope that the union will finally assume a serious attitude towards the crisis, Polish President Andrzej Duda said in Budapest on Friday.
"I hope that Europe will finally assume a serious attitude towards solving the ongoing migration crisis because if we look, for example, at the situation in which Greece finds itself today, this is the most serious problem the EU is dealing with today," President Duda told a joint press conference with Hungarian President Janos Ader.
The Polish president stressed that a lack of concrete decisions regarding migrants would aggravate the crisis. "We want this great value given to our nations by the European Union, namely the freedom of movement and the Schengen area, not to be wasted," he said and added that it would be possible only when the EU as a whole pursued a firm and concrete policy.
It is necessary to strengthen the EU's external borders and to support Greece and other countries where camps for refugees, primarily Syrians, are located, according to Andrzej Duda.
"This is also a question of dealing with the huge illegal business of people smuggling, of restricting all these trends while taking care of humanitarian issues", the Polish president said.
The Hungarian president said that over the last year the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) managed to take successful steps regarding the migration crisis.
The two heads of state on Friday also discussed specific infrastructure projects, President Duda told reporters. "The railway connection (between Poland and Hungary) leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how modern it is. Things are similar with road connections", he remarked.
He added that the energy sector should develop towards diversification of supply and "solidarity regarding energy policy".
Economic exchange between Poland and Hungary is good and is worth EUR 8 billion annually, President Duda pointed out, underlining that Hungary was the fourth-biggest partner for Polish exports.
President Duda also said that he had invited President Ader to observances of the anniversary of the June 1956 protests in Poznan (western Poland). The year 2016 is special for both countries as the anniversary of the Poznan revolt in Poland and the 1956 revolution in Hungary, President Ader pointed out.
The lifting of EU sanctions against Russia should be considered from the point of view of how the Minsk Accords are being fulfilled and not from a "business as usual" position, President Duda said when asked about the German economy minister's recent words that he wanted to get the sanctions lifted this summer.
"Sanctions are a legal instrument constituting a response - a relatively gentle and peaceful one - to violations of international law", the Polish president remarked.