Budapest, May 2 (MTI) – The EU is in need of a common system for protecting external borders to manage the migrant crisis, Rebecca Harms, co-head of the Greens group in the European Parliament, said in Szeged, in southern Hungary, on Monday.
The EU’s border police should patrol the bloc’s external borders according to the same set of rules, Harms told a press conference after inspecting the transit zones set up near the border towns of Roszke and Tompa. She said the EU should enable refugees fleeing war zones to legally enter the EU and submit asylum requests.
Harms described the conditions near the transit zones, on the Serbian side of the border fence as “unbearable” and said it was unacceptable that asylum-seekers — some of them travelling with sick children — should have to wait for weeks in the open air before submitting their asylum applications.
She said the explanation Hungarian authorities had given for the slow process was that it was the only way they could combat people smuggling. But Harms argued that people smugglers were also active around the transit zones. She said it was often the criminals who decided which refugees could enter the transit zones and who among them would have to enter the EU illegally.
Dialogue for Hungary MEP Benedek Jávor said the refugees who submit their asylum applications at transit zones are eventually placed in reception centres. Information from authorities indicates, however, that 95 percent of them continue their journey toward Austria or Germany, he added.
Jávor insisted that the government was lying when it said that the asylum procedures need to be carried out the way they are to ensure Europe’s protection. He said the Hungarian state first makes it harder for refugees fleeing the Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan civil wars to enter the EU and then lets them go. This is the worst possible solution from both a humanitarian and security point of view, Jávor insisted. He said the situation on the border was a direct consequence of the government’s failure to adequately adjust the asylum procedure to the number of entrants.