“The Government is temporarily suspending the implementation of the EU regulation on systematic border checks”, the Ministry of Interior’s Parliamentary State Secretary told Hungarian news agency MTI on Tuesday.

Károly Kontrát explained that the measure had led to delays of several hours at certain border crossing stations, and it was likely that delays will become even longer during the summer period. “Accordingly, the Government feels it is necessary to temporarily suspend systematic border checks - the related government decree will soon be published in the Hungarian Gazette - and will instead be introducing targeted border checks”, he added.

“Hungary has had reservations about the regulation and its practical application from the beginning, and regarded the past few weeks as a test run”, Mr. Kontrát said. “Illegal immigration is endangering Europe’s most important acquis: the Schengen system and the free movement of persons”, he added.

Mr. Kontrát also said that according to the Government instead of “pestering” EU citizens Brussels should primarily be occupied with stopping and checking illegal immigrants and finding terrorists.

The Council of the European Union introduced mandatory systematic border checks from the beginning of April, according to which all citizens from the EU and third countries must be checked when entering or leaving the European Union via the Schengen border.

The regulation also states that member states must be allowed to decide not to carry out the checks if they can confirm through risk analysis that easing checks will not result in a security risk.