Budapest, February 20 (MTI) – Hungary’s Interior Minister Sándor Pintér met Vlaho Orepic, his Croatian counterpart, for talks on “systematic border control” in Budapest on Monday.
At a press conference after the talks, Orepic said that under a new “systematic” method for controlling the border every entrant would be checked, which could lead to queues forming at crossing points. Parties at the talks agreed to take measures to prevent such inconveniences, he added.
Orepic thanked Pintér for Hungary’s support of Croatia’s accession to the passport-free Schengen Area.
Pinter said that the European Union has mandated the new border control regime, and Hungary and Croatia would work to use it as a means to increase security without putting an extra burden on residents of the two countries. He added that border crossers would be checked regardless of whether they are entering or leaving the country.
Under the new border regime, personal details of travellers entering or leaving the EU would be checked against the Schengen Information System and other databases to determine if their documents had been declared lost or stolen. Under an agreement reached last December by the Council of Ministers, member states will also have to determine whether the traveller in question poses a threat to their country.
Pintér told MTI the new regime would have to be implemented within 20 days of the relevant EU regulation’s official publication. Asked if the implementation of the regime meant that Hungary would have to send more officers to patrol its border, the minister said that if officials in charge of implementing the regime find it necessary, the government would have to explore the costs of deploying more officers.
Responding to another journalist’s question, Pintér said there were no plans to install transit zones near Hungary’s border with Croatia.
But he said the government does plan to expand the number of transit zones along the border with Serbia to house migrants who submit asylum applications.