“The fence is protecting the European Union, not Hungary, and if Hungary can stop illegal migration in this manner, then there is no need for the tailbacks at the Hegyeshalom border crossing station either, since it has also defended Austria”, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI following background discussions at the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna on Monday.

According to an announcement by the Government, the second fence along the Serbian-Hungarian border will be completed by 1 May. The new fence, stretching for 150 kilometres, will enable the border to be monitored using CCTV and thermal cameras, and other technological equipment.

“The goal to be realised by the fence is exactly what the Austrians want too, i.e. that nobody is able to cross the border who will need to be sent back later because they are in the EU illegally”, Mr. Kovács stressed.

In his statement to MTI, the Spokesperson also explained that the new, “intelligent fence” has much greater technical capabilities that the existing one. “Thanks to the new technology, a low voltage, and completely safe current will also be flowing through the fence, which will send an alarm to border control authorities if any attempts are made to damage the fence”, he said.

“The problems of illegal immigration cannot be solved at internal borders”, declared Mr. Kovács, according to whom Austrian border controls cannot replace the protection of the Schengen border, on which Hungary and Austria are working together. “We are asking everyone to assist us in this task, because then we will be able to save a lot of energy and effort that internal border controls would cause at Hegyeshalom, because it is inconvenient for the public and could cause losses to businesses”, he said.

At the background discussion in Vienna, which was also attended by members of the Austrian and foreign press, one topic of discussion was the planned Austrian job creation measure that would provide an incentive for Austrian job-seekers, but would in turn make it more difficult for prospective employees from outside Austria, including from Hungary, to find work.

Mr. Kovács told MTI that any scheme that attempts to introduce measures that are restrictive with regard to certain countries will definitely affect all four of the EU’s fundamental freedoms. The Government Spokesperson said that in his view it would not take the future of the EU in the right direction if everyone began “wearing down” the regulations set down in the basic treaties.