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Jan 06, 2017

The migrant crisis could worsen in 2017

The security situation that has developed as a result of migration remains a danger and the fight against the Islamic State could also lead to an increased threat of terrorism in Europe

The migrant crisis could worsen in 2017, according to György Bakondi, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.

“Illegal migration will remain a significant issue this year and the situation could in fact worsen in 2017,"  Bakondi said.

Bakondi stressed that the security situation that has developed as a result of migration remains a danger and the fight against the Islamic State could also lead to an increased threat of terrorism in Europe.

“In this situation the Hungarian standpoint is firm: the external borders of the European Union must be protected and hotspots for the evaluation of asylum requests must be established outside the EU," he added.

Summarizing the past year, Bakondi said that illegal migration is continuing along the Balkan route and from Libya towards Italy. The former has seen some reduction in the number of migrants, while an increase has been observed on the latter route.

“Alternative routes have also developed: towards Bulgaria along the land border between Turkey and Greece, and via Montenegro, Romania and Ukraine. Migration has not reached mass levels along the latter two routes," he said.

Bakondi listed EU measures that in his view were insufficient to stop illegal migration, including the setting up of a joint EU border and coast guard. Violent crime and acts of terrorism have become more prevalent within the EU, he indicated.

Bakondi added that according to figures from the United Nations, 361,000 people arrived in the territory of the European Union last year, 200,000 in Italy and the rest on the Greek islands.

According to MTI, 17,800 people managed to enter Hungary illegally prior to the major change in legislation that came into force on July 5. Since then, 470 people have entered the country illegally; a significant number tried to enter the country via Romania and Ukraine.

The Police prevented 10,600 people from getting across the border security fence and 8,300 were accompanied back to the other side of the fence from within the 8km border zone.

29,400 people submitted requests for asylum during the course of the year, of whom 438 were granted political asylum or protected status. 4360 requests were rejected and the assessment of the asylum request was terminated in 48,885 cases in view of the fact that the individual in question had disappeared.