Hungary continues to observe the Dublin Regulation; at the same time, it needs some technical patience before the acceptance of further illegal migrants as it is at this point in time unable to take care of them, State Secretary for Law Enforcement László Tasnádi said on Wednesday at the meeting of the Defence and Police Committee of Parliament.

Zsuzsanna Végh, Director General of the Office of Immigration and Nationality, who also attended the meeting, told the Committee that they are able to receive some 1,500 migrants in total in conformity with the relevant EU norms; however, at present, they are compelled to provide accommodation for 3,500-4,000 people daily, in some instances in tents.

The Director General stressed that Hungary fully observes all obligations arising from the Dublin Regulation, but further enlargements are necessary for the acceptance of migrants turned back from the west. Member States of the EU are continuously upgrading the stringency of their measures, and are attempting to return applicants to Hungary in increasingly large numbers, she said, and added that so far consultations have begun with respect to the reception of 6-700 migrants; it is in their case that the authorities have sought the patience of their counterparts.

Zsuzsanna Végh additionally pointed out that 60-65 per cent of applications are filed by applicants originating from crisis zones; i.e. in contrast to the recent past, it is no longer Kosovars who come to Hungary and who were turned back by the authorities in the west to their homeland.

Mr Tasnádi also stated that the maximum occupancy rate of refugee camps causes dramatic situations. He remarked as an example that an Albanian family moved to Margaret Island on a permanent basis.

The parliamentary committee supported the proposed legislative amendment submitted by Lajos Kósa and other MPs for Fidesz which authorises the Government to draw up in a decree a list of the countries which may be regarded as safe from the respect of the reception of migrants. Based on the MP’s information, this list may include countries where migrants may be detained with regard to the fact that, in contrast to their country of origin, they are no longer exposed to the threat of persecution there.

Mr Kósa as the presenter of the proposal said that EU law permits this amendment; furthermore, other EU Member States, including Luxembourg, Germany and France have already designated such third countries.

He stressed that the European Union had formerly failed to identify the countries which may be considered safe from the EU’s point of view, and therefore delegated this competence to the Governments of the Member States; the legislative amendment currently on the agenda seeks to transpose this into the Hungarian legal system.

Mr Kósa takes the view that the reason why governments have been given this authorisation is that the security status of countries is a rapidly changing circumstance which the governments are better-equipped to follow than national assemblies.

The politician from Fidesz remarked that the cabinet cannot designate just any country as a safe country; a country must satisfy certain criteria to qualify as safe.

Mr Kósa highlighted that there is a need for change because the issue of migration is becoming uncontrollable: up to last week, 61,000 people crossed the border illegally which means that their number may increase to 120,000 by the end of the year, and to 250,000 by next year.

In answer to a question from Ádám Mirkóczki from Jobbik, László Tasnádi said that Serbia had pledged to take a more proactive stance in the future in order to prevent immigrants from crossing its territory. He further said that, as expected, German and Austrian border guards will also take part in the patrolling of the borders.

(Ministry of Interior/MTI)