Hungary’s migration policy has not changed; the government supports neither the illegal influx of migrants, nor any relocation schemes, the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister stressed at a press conference held on Monday in Budapest.

György Bakondi laid down that the cabinet guarantees the conditions necessary for protecting the Hungarian border, and will not yield to any kind of political pressure. “We will do everything we can in the interest of maintaining the security of the Hungarian people, the borders and Hungary,” he pointed out.

Up to Sunday in 2019, 15,573 people tried to enter Hungary illegally via the border fence, in contrast to six thousand last year, he highlighted.

Between January and the end of September this year, 473,215 new asylum requests were submitted in the European Union (EU), which is an 8.6 per cent increase on 2018. According to a report of the EU’s border and coast guard agency Frontex, from January to the end of October 2019, 120,000 migrants crossed the EU’s borders illegally, he added.

Whenever possible, those arriving on the continent typically avoid registration upon entering EU territory and illegally submit asylum requests in multiple countries, Mr Bakondi cited the report which confirms that the pressure of migration has significantly intensified on the Balkans route.

Among the four most important characteristics of the migration situation in Europe, the chief security advisor mentioned the EU decisions on the reinforcement of Frontex, anonymous bank cards and humanitarian visas as well as the Malta agreement. Regarding details, he said in continuation that this year in Spain more than 31,000 entrants have been registered, more than 25,000 of whom have arrived by sea.

Until the change of government in September, there was a decrease in migrant numbers in Italy where more than 11,000 migrants have been registered in total. In Greece, compared with last year, a significant, 44 per cent increase has been registered, with more than 73,000 new arrivals. Some 41,000 migrants are currently staying on islands in the Aegean Sea, the chief security advisor listed, also highlighting that in France the number of asylum requests has increased by 18 per cent.

Mr Bakondi pointed out that, according to data of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, almost 112,000 migrants are currently present on the Balkans route; their number has increased by 40 per cent compared with last year.

By Mr Bakondi’s account, in Turkey there are almost 3.7 million registered refugees, the Turkish border guard agencies have apprehended 414,000 migrants, 370,000 Syrians have voluntarily returned to their homes, and 110,000 refugees have been granted Turkish citizenship. Turkey is planning to repatriate another one million Syrians; at the same time, due to military operations in Idlib, the UN is expecting to see another 350,000 new refugees arrive in Turkey, he said.

Mr Bakondi took the view that, compared with last year, in 2019 there has been a change in the magnitude of migration, its main directions and the nationalities of new arrivals, as well as in the European population’s “approach to and opinions stated about migration”. Throughout Europe, the protection of the external borders has improved as has the prevention of acts of terrorism, partly owing to the annihilation of Islamic State, and instead of devastating bomb attacks, there have been knife attacks. At the same time, migrants are committing ever more common crimes, he listed.

However, there has been no change in the “mass nature” of illegal migration, its funding, the related activities of NGOs and the funding and organising role of “Soros organisations”. There has been likewise no change in the anonymity of those arriving on the continent, the connection between migration and organised crime, the plans conceived earlier with regard to distribution quotas and the general failure of deportations, he pointed out. He stressed that countries which refuse to accept migration continue to remain under pressure.

According to the chief security advisor’s projection for 2020, the “revival” of the EU-Turkey agreement is on the agenda. He further indicated that he is hopeful as regards the European Commission’s future migration policy. At the same time, he also observed that illegal migration has enormous reserves in Africa and Asia.