Hungary Vows to Defend its Border in Defiance of EU Court Ruling
Hungarian government to keep border fence in place despite European Court of Justice order
Hungary has vowed to continue defending its borders and will keep its border fence in place, despite a recent European Union court ruling.
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that Hungary illegally detained asylum seekers in transit zones along its border after they made illegal crossings into the country.
However, the Hungarian Defense Ministry said both the armed forces and the government will continue to do all they can to defend the country's border in defiance of the EU court ruling.
The situation in Hungary comes at a time when the vital Western Balkans route has seen a steep rise in crossing from illegal migrants.
In the first four months of this year, illegal border crossings in the Western Balkans rose by 60 percent, compared with the same period of 2019.
The alarming increase occurred despite a sharp fall in April due to the border closures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex said in its April migration update.
"There were fewer than 100 detections of illegal border crossings recorded on this route in April, down 94% from the previous month," the Frontex report wrote.
"However, in the first four months, the number of illegal border crossings increased by 60% from the same period of last year to nearly 6,000."
Hungarian State Secretary of the Defense Ministry Szilárd Németh said on Sunday at the Röszke border crossing with Serbia that with the national lockdowns coming to an end, Hungary will again face increased pressure from illegal immigrants.
He was speaking at the transit zone which served as the focus of the European Court of Justice (ECJ)'s ruling last week that Hungary illegally held asylum seekers there.
He reiterated the Hungarian position that the ruling intends to force Hungary to stop defending its border with a fence and allow immigrants into the country.
He said that the country would do all its power to continue defending its borders.
"The Fidesz-KDNP parliamentary majority and the government will do everything in its power to maintain the [border] fence, live military, and police patrols and keep the transit zones operational," Németh said.
In its update of the weekend's events, Hungarian police said officers apprehended 151 illegal immigrants and transported them back to the countries they came from.
A further 37 were also prevented from crossing the Serbian border into Hungary.
Just last week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó warned of a new migration wave threatening Europe in a videoconference meeting with 14 EU foreign ministers.