The Government has identified the list of countries of origin declared safe on a national level and safe third countries, and this also features the countries of the Western Balkans; most illegal migrants arrive in Hungary from this direction.

Based on the Government Decree published in the Tuesday issue of Magyar Közlöny (Hungarian Gazette), the Member States and candidate Member States of the European Union (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia) with the exception of Turkey, the Member States of the European Economic Area, the Federal States of the United States where there is no capital punishment, further Switzerland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Canada, Australia and New Zealand qualify as safe countries of origin and safe third countries under the asylum law.

If the country of origin of a person seeking recognition under the asylum law is featured on the EU list of safe countries of origin or among the countries identified by the Government, the asylum-seeker may substantiate in the asylum procedure that in his individual case his country of origin does not satisfy the conditions defined for safe countries of origin.

If the asylum-seeker resided in or transited the territory of a safe third country under the EU list of safe third countries or the Government Decree before his arrival in Hungary, he may prove in the asylum procedure that in his case he had no access to effective protection in that country.

The list therefore features the countries, on the one hand, which may be regarded as safe countries of origin, i.e. in which there is no war or persecution. On the other hand, the list of safe third countries features the countries which may be regarded as safe and which the asylum-seeker transited, and where he would have had the opportunity to avail himself of international protection.

Parliament authorised the Government at the end of June to identify in a decree the safe migration transit countries in the case of which, once traversed, migrants are not eligible to apply for political asylum.

Lajos Kósa (Fidesz) said at the time that "those who are genuine refugees must stop where their lives are no longer exposed to danger". Hungary cannot receive all the world's illegal migrants, the government-party politician said, who takes the view that this "flood" must be checked, while political refugees accounting for less than one per cent of migrants must be sheltered.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)