Budapest, July 14 (MTI) – The interior and defence ministers of Hungary and Austria met at Röszke, in southern Hungary, on Thursday, to discuss cooperation against illegal migration.
The meeting focused on ways Austria could contribute to border control in southern Hungary, Hungarian interior minister Sándor Pintér told a press conference after the talks.
The meeting was also attended by Defence Minister István Simicskó, and Austrian ministers Wolfgang Sobotka and Hans Peter Doskozil.
Wolfgang Sobotka, the Austrian interior minister said that protecting the Schengen borders was a shared cause and his country has contributed 20 police officers to work with Hungarians within the Frontex border control agency. He warned, however, that Frontex, with a staff of 1,500, will not be sufficient to guarantee control along all of Europe’s external borders.
Thanks to Hungary’s recent measures, illegal migrants can no longer penetrate the country and reach Austria, which lifts pressure on the Hungary-Austria border, Sobotka said, adding that waiting times at crossing points had dropped below 10 minutes.
Sobotka also added that participants in the meeting agreed on jointly fighting people smuggling.
Hans Peter Doskozil, Austria’s defence minister, said that very few illegal migrants could be returned to their countries of origin under a court decision. He insisted that regional cooperation was needed rather than “waiting for all-European solutions”.
Doskozil said that the Dublin regulations could not be efficiently applied for “such large numbers” of entrants. Countries along the external borders of the EU cannot handle all asylum procedures; a different approach is needed, such as procedures outside the Dublin system for returning illegal migrants, Doskozil said.