Speaking in the National Assembly’s Committee on Defence and Law Enforcement, Károly Kontrát, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, explained why the extension of the state of emergency due to mass migration has been warranted. He said that maintaining strict border protection measures is necessary to ensure the safety of Hungarian families.

Mr. Kontrát added that during the summer it has been proved that the terrorist threat in Europe has increased.

He added that the request to extend the state of emergency has been made on the basis of the March amendment to the Act on Asylum. The amendment makes it possible to declare a state of emergency due to mass migration in any migration-related circumstances in which protection of the external Schengen borders is violated.

Mr. Kontrát pointed out that declaring a state of emergency due to mass migration does not disadvantage Hungarian citizens in any way.

The Parliamentary State Secretary said that the Ministry of Interior is monitoring movements on the borders. Depending on the level of threat, it is prepared to react rapidly, but currently he does not consider construction of a border fence on the Hungarian-Romanian border to be warranted.

Deputy National Police Chief Zsolt Halmosi, who also attended the committee meeting, said that so far this year 806 migrants have been apprehended for illegally crossing Hungary’s borders. According to Mr. Halmosi, 2,225 of the 3,000 places in border guard training – 74 per cent – have already been filled.

Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács announced last week that, at the recommendation of the Minister of Interior, the Government had decided to extend the state of emergency due to mass migration until 7 March 2018. Two weeks ago Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér made a recommendation to the Cabinet to extend the state of emergency due to mass migration, which would otherwise expire on 7 September 2017.