At a press conference in Budapest on Monday, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Interior Károly Kontrát said that Hungary is overachieving in the protection of the Schengen borders, and it is the EU Member State which is doing the most in this area.

Another subject raised was a statement by Frontex, the EU organisation responsible for the protection of Schengen borders, according to which Hungary is not participating in operations in the Mediterranean aimed at reducing migration. According to a report in the daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Hungary is the only Member State not participating in the operations.

According to the newspaper, the Hungarian National Police explained its absence by saying that the protection of the Serbian border is taking up all of Hungary’s available resources.

Mr. Kontrát explained that, relative to population and GDP, Hungary is enduring the greatest burden in terms of illegal migration. While in 2012 a total of 2,157 illegal migrants came to Hungary, this weekend alone 4,532 people had crossed the border illegally, he said.

At various EU forums the Hungarian government had indicated in due time that the migration situation has changed. He said that this is an unparalleled situation, Hungary is participating in EU cooperation, and it is assuming financial burdens beyond its expected capacity for the security of itself and the EU.

Mr. Kontrát added that the temporary border barrier and the new asylum legislation not only serve the interests of Hungary, but also that of the Schengen borders. The European Union acknowledges Hungary’s efforts, he said.

President of the National Community Security Volunteer Association András Túrós also participated in the press conference, and he said that community security volunteers are participating in handling the migration issue. He also noted that they had been asked to secure areas around reception centres, and that they are also helping in protecting transit stations in Budapest.

He added that community security volunteer associations in Ásotthalom, Röszke, Mórahalom and Szeged are making superhuman efforts, and that “they are on the frontline”. Community security volunteers are serving together with policemen, but they often act individually or together with rangers.

(Ministry of Interior)