Despite repeated attempts by illegal migrants, Hungary’s law enforcement agencies will protect the borders of the country and the European Union, and the security of Hungarians and Europeans, the prime minister’s domestic security advisor said in an interview with daily Magyar Hírlap on Thursday.
In 2019 the number of attempted entries at the southern borders of Hungary reached 13,000, doubling from the whole of last year, György Bakondi said. In addition to the border with Serbia, “we have also experienced increased activity at our border sections with Romania and Croatia,” he said. Some 468 people tried to enter illegally from Romania and 294 from Croatia this year, he added.
“In both cases, … the number of attempted entries has already more than doubled compared to the whole of last year,” he said.
Croatia has implemented a very strict border protection regime with considerable financial help from the EU, he said. The system is similar to Hungary’s in many aspects and “has left significantly less chances for potential border violators to get through”, he added.
“The human smuggling organisations have realised this and migrants are now returning from Bosnia to Serbia, from where they try their luck setting off in the direction of Romania or they go against the sealed [Hungarian] border,” he said.
Bakondi said there were changes also in the composition of migrants by citizenship.
“Whereas in 2017 and 2018 there was a decrease in the number of Syrian asylum seekers and the majority were Afghans, Pakistanis and Iranians, currently Syrians are again appearing in growing numbers among those caught at the Hungarian border,” he said.
“This means the changes that took place in Turkey have again encouraged them to set foot,” he added.
The advisor said that now that new European Commission has entered office, “nation states place greater emphasis on border protection. For instance, they have taken stricter measures to filter arrivals, control entry, and limit the migrants’ access to residence permits, refugee status and especially to benefits.”
Bakondi said that after lengthy consultations, the EC said that it would reimburse 10 percent of Hungary’s border protection costs, but it has not transferred any part of this amount so far.