Once upon a time, four migrants from Afghanistan and Iran reached Hungary’s southern border. Hungarian authorities rejected their asylum applications and requested that they return to Serbia. Serbia refused to let them in, saying that “the conditions set out in the Agreement on readmission concluded with the EU4 were not met.”
This could be a fairy tale, but it’s not. Now, Serbia has the right to reject those asylum seekers, while the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) blames Hungary again and rules that “the accommodation of asylum seekers in the Röszke transit zone at the Hungarian-Serbian border must be classified as “detention”.
The Hungarian Government’s position remains unchanged in that our regulations and legal practices are in line with EU and international law because the migrants could have left the transit zone in the direction of Serbia at any time. “The Hungarian Government disagreed with the ECJ’s judgment and considers it a risk to Europe's security,” said Minister Gergely Gulyás at today’s press conference.
Furthermore, these individuals are no longer asylum seekers because their applications were rejected. In this case, they cannot enter Hungary legally.
The ECJ has ruled that immigrants should be admitted. We do not agree with this judgment; it is dangerous and poses a security risk to all of Europe.
“We are obliged to comply with the rulings,” said Minister Gulyás, “and Hungary will do so,” adding that it has nevertheless “decided to abolish the transit zone in a physical sense as well.” In the future, those seeking to enter Hungary will have to apply at consulates in neighboring, secure countries.
“External border protection is an issue that Hungary cannot, does not want to, and will not concede,” he said in closing.