The regulatory system fully complies with the requirements of the EU – emphasized Dr. Zsuzsanna Végh, Director-General of the Office of Immigration and Nationality during the press conference where she and Dr. Zsolt Halmosi, Deputy National Police Chief provided response on the position paper of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Director-General in reply to the “Observation on the situation of asylum-seekers and refugees in Hungary” pointed out that in 2010 a law package have been approved which includes the new system of regulations on asylum and immigration. The objective of the new framework was to ensure harmonisation of legislation between Hungary and the EU as rules of the EU has not been fully transposed previously. Less strict, more favourable laws will be introduced through the amendment and effective action will be taken against the abuse of the asylum system.
With regard to the cases of families with small children Director –General said that the best interests of the children must be a primary consideration.
According to the Director-General despite of all reasonable endeavours illegal migration remains a problem. Number of proceedings for infringement has significantly increased (it exceeded 6000 cases last year). On the other hand 20% less asylum applications have been registered over recent years. From her point of view a reason of the decrease is the refugees arrested at the Hungarian-Serbian border since Hungary is a transit country. She added that the number of refugees from Serbia and Kosovo has diminished too.
97-98% of the applicants enter Hungary illegally and two-thirds of them fill the application in detention. Due to the refused applications number of remedies is quite high which lies within the courts field of competence. However courts are operating beyond full capacity and are not able to decide in due time. Director-General said that minors are provided with reasonable facilities and education too.
In case of recognised refugees and persons to whom international protection has been granted – in addition to providing adequate conditions – integration is a headline target too. The Office is searching for EU sources continuously in order to organize vocational trainings for the persons concerned –said. Contrary to the content of the position paper inputs are increasing year by year.
Mr Zsolt Halmosi pointed out that Hungary became part of the Schengen Area in December 2007 and a body established by the integration of the border guard and police fulfilled the relating tasks of the accession. At the beginning of August 2011 Hungary was affected by the “Arab Spring” and faced significant migratory pressure especially at the Ukrainian, Romanian and Serbian border. Interior Ministers of Hungary and Austria addressed a letter to the European Union for help tackling the situation. At the same time borders have been equipped with significant forces.
She highlighted that detainees have been under surveillance of policemen in active employment but now they are kept in custody of armed guards and therefore large police staff have been released.
Mr Zsolt Halmosi has refused the critics on maltreatment and defamation because detainees may submit their complaints in writing which will not be followed by any kind of retaliation. In order to manage conflicts effectively guardian staff takes part in trainings continuously –added Mr Halmosi. Deputy National Police Chief rejected that they would not provide internet access for migrants and rejected the contention that migrants would be in custody with ordinary criminals.