The Government has declared a state of crisis due to mass migration in the counties of Bács-Kiskun and Csongrád, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács announced on Tuesday in Szeged.

The Government Spokesperson said that the state of crisis will remain in force for as long as necessary. He stressed that it is in the best interests of everyone – including genuine refugees – that illegal migration comes to an end.

DownloadFotó: Kelemen Zoltán Gergely/MTI

Mr. Kovács told the press that the construction of the temporary border security fence, the statutory amendments, and the reinforcement of border protection will serve to minimise illegal migration.

Hungary is making every effort to enforce the Schengen regulations as strictly and consistently as possible, but it is almost the only country now observing these international regulations. If every country had followed suit, the current situation would not have developed, he said.

Hungary has spent some EUR 200 million (HUF 62 billion) this year on the restoration of law and order in the vicinity of its borders, while the European Union has so far provided it with funding of only EUR 7 million, Mr. Kovács said.

György Bakondi, Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, said that the police had taken action on Tuesday morning in response to sixty incidents of illegal border crossing. Forty-five people were arrested on the southern border; they entered Hungarian territory through the border fence or by causing damage to it, and therefore criminal proceedings have been launched against these individuals. He added that the damaged sections of fence were repaired immediately.

Mr. Bakondi told the press that migrants arriving from Serbia may submit their asylum applications at two transit zones: in Röszke and Tompa. This is where their personal details are registered and their fingerprints and photos are taken; this information is then entered in the EU database.

The Hungarian state will provide for the care of people in transit zones. If no decision is taken on an asylum seeker’s application within 24 hours, they are provided with temporary accommodation on the premises.

Applications are assessed by the authorities within eight days at the longest, and an applicant may request a court review of a decision – but no later than two days after a decision has been issued. In the event of refusal, migrants are sent back to Serbia; however, Mr. Bakondi said, this cannot be regarded as deportation, as in a legal sense applicants are not on Hungarian territory when they are within the transit zone.

He added that migrants in the transit zone are not in custody, and are free to leave at any time.

Unaccompanied minors are transferred to children’s and youth institutions. People with special needs – the elderly, the sick and families with young children – are taken to reception centres, and their cases are decided on according to the normal procedure, the Chief Advisor explained.

Declaring a state of crisis due to mass migration was made possible by a legislative amendment which entered into force on Tuesday. According to the regulation, a state of crisis due to mass migration may be declared if the number of asylum seekers arriving in Hungary exceeds an average of 500 per day over a month, an average of 750 per day over two consecutive weeks, or an average of 800 per day over a week.

A state of crisis due to mass migration may also be declared if the number of migrants in the transit zones exceeds an average of 1,000 per day over a month, an average of 1,500 persons per day over two consecutive weeks, or an average of 1,600 persons per day over a week.

Additionally, a state of crisis due to mass migration may be declared if a situation related to migration emerges which poses a direct threat to public safety and the maintenance of law and order in a settlement, or a direct threat to public health; this will be particularly applicable if a disturbance or violent acts occur at a reception centre or any other facility serving to shelter foreigners in a settlement or on its outskirts.

It is the duty of the chief commissioner of police and the head of the asylum authority to monitor these conditions, and to notify the Government of their emergence or cessation.

The Government is the body responsible for declaring a state of crisis due to mass migration. The relevant decree shall remain in force for a maximum period of six months, but its term may be extended if the circumstances which gave rise to it persist.

The uncut video recordings of the event may be downloaded in the press room.

(Prime Minister's Office)