ER Editor: The FreeWest Media report below refers to Hungary’s ‘transit zones’ at its border, which – crucially – the European Court of Human Rights has declared not to be a form of imprisonment. For an explanation of the transit zones, see this report from DW in July, 2018 (MSM alert) titled Could Hungary’s transit zones for refugees be a model for Germany? Of note:
Asylum-seekers there (ER: Hungary) aren’t allowed to enter the country directly, but are stopped at two crossing points along a border fence with Serbia. They are then sent into the transit zone, a closed-off container village.
The HHC estimates that there are roughly 4,000 migrants on the Serbian side of the border, waiting to file for asylum in Hungary.
Transit into no man’s land
In the transit zone, which Hungary has declared a no-man’s-land, officials then check whether the asylum-seeker has been registered in another European Union country or whether the asylum application is obviously unfounded for other reasons. This process usually only takes a few hours, but can last up to 15 days.
If asylum-seekers turn out to be already registered in the Eurodac asylum database from an application in another EU country, as part of the bloc’s Dublin Regulation on asylum policy, they are taken directly to the Serbian side of the border fence and banned from re-entering the entire Schengen area.
If the asylum application is accepted and processed, applicants are placed under surveillance in the transit zone, which they are not allowed to leave. The following asylum procedure takes three to six months in Hungary, including a judicial review. Rejected asylum seekers are returned to Serbia from the transit zone.
As a reminder of what the 2015 migrant flux cost Hungary, see Sputnik‘s report titled Migrant Crisis to Cost Budapest Over €200Mln in 2015 – Hungarian Ambassador.
Hungary convenes anti-immigration cabinet as border crisis looms
Hungarian state secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Szilard Nemeth has convened a Fidesz anti-immigration cabinet for Monday. Nemeth described the migration situation on Hungary’s southern border and the West Balkans as very serious, dangerous and a warning to all at a press briefing this week.
BUDAPEST – Fidesz’s anti-immigration cabinet was established in October 2018. The cabinet’s 17 members are MPs from all over the country.
Almost 100,000 migrants are massing in the West Balkans and although “the situation is still under control”, it is “beginning to look like the big crisis in 2015,” he said.
If these migrants are “let loose on the Hungarian border, there could be big trouble, and we must prepare for that possibility”. This is why it is essential, he said, that the “state of emergency” in connection with mass migration was extended in September as it provides the necessary legal basis for the protection of the border.
It is also important, Nemeth underscored, that the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights has declared that confining migrants to the transit zone does not equal imprisonment, thus, “everything that the pro-migration opposition has said about either the transit zone or the state of emergency in connection with mass migration has been proved false”.
The West Balkans is key to the security of Europe and Hungary, the politician said, noting that this is why the government supports the accession of the countries of that region to the European Union and NATO.
Gyorgy Bakondi, chief domestic security advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, told public radio on Sunday morning that over 11,400 migrants had attempted to enter Hungary illegally from January to November this year as against 5,400 in the corresponding period of last year.
At present there are more than 106,000 registered migrants along the Balkan route, excluding the huge number of illegal arrivals.
Orban said in London on Wednesday that NATO has acknowledged for the first time that mass migration from the south poses a security risk that the alliance must address.
Speaking to Hungarian public media on the sidelines of the summit marking the alliance’s 70th anniversary, Orban said NATO membership had always been important to Hungary, noting that it joined the alliance in 1999.
NATO membership is also “an important element of identity” to the Christian “nationally minded” forces, the prime minister said, noting that it was under his first government that Hungary joined the military alliance.
Since then, the world has seen the emergence of new challenges, Orban said, naming mass migration and the security risks that come with it, such as terrorism, as examples.
He said NATO had already accepted in the past that mass migration was a threat, but had never considered it one of the biggest challenges facing the alliance.
“This has now changed,” Orban said. The prime minister called it a “major step” that NATO has acknowledged the need to address the issue of mass migration from the south.
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