Ombudsman calls for solution to road use between Hungary and Austria

Since March 1, the road linking Ágfalva and Schattendorf (Somfalva) has been fully blocked for vehicles.

Ákos Kozma, the ombudsman for fundamental rights, has written to his Austrian counterpart, Gaby Schwarz, to try and find a solution acceptable to both Hungarians and Austrians concerning the use of a road linking Ágfalva and Schattendorf (Somfalva). 

According to MTI, this was in reaction to Hungarian citizens having contacted him about the closure of the road connecting the two villages. They complained that the local council of Austria had initially blocked vehicle use on the road built with EU co-financing in the morning and evening hours, preventing Hungarians from travelling to Austria for work by car. Since March 1, the road has been fully blocked for vehicles. Since July 1, the Schattendorf local council again allows the use of the road but only on the basis of individual requests, against a fee. The restrictions on Hungarians citizens’ use of the road may constitute a breach of the right to free movement of persons and labor, a fundamental EU right, so Kozma has asked Schwarz if her office had examined the measures introduced by Schattendorf. If no such examination has been started, the Hungarian ombudsman will ask his Austrian counterpart to launch one, his office said in a statement.