In Subotica on Thursday, Serbian and Hungarian interior ministers Nebojša Stefanović and Sándor Pintér discussed the migration situation and possible solutions.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Interior, the Hungarian minister has announced that Hungary wishes to clarify the situation of migrants at the Schengen borders: in other words, to select genuine refugees from economic immigrants, who do not have the right to enter the European Union.

The Serbian interior minister said that the EU’s help is needed to solve the problem, because neither Serbia nor Hungary can do so on their own – partly for financial reasons, and partly due to lack of capacity. He added that they will still aim to comply with the regulations and to respect human rights, and that they will work to ensure that those who can file for asylum do so and those who wish to proceed to other European countries can continue their journey.

He emphasised that a European answer is needed to the question of what should happen to economic migrants: those who are not entitled to asylum. He was of the opinion that the issue must be solved outside the Schengen Area’s borders, not when immigrants have arrived in Serbia or Hungary. It should be solved in Bulgaria or Greece, as those are the first EU countries which immigrants enter.

There are also a number of unresolved issues concerning genuine refugees entitled to asylum: where they will finally go, where they will be accommodated and how their human rights will be respected.

The ministers also said that the Hungarian and the Serbian authorities will be in daily contact from now on in order to discuss the issue of migration.