The Strategist

Austria threatened Hungary with a lawsuit for refusing to accept refugees

09/07/2016 - 14:37

Minister of Internal Affairs of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka said his country would sue Hungary, if Budapest refuse to take back refugees allowed to leave the country, according to Reuters. He said that "countries and groups of countries that systematically violate the law must take the consequences of this."

Mstyslav Chernov
Mstyslav Chernov
Hundreds of migrants have passed through southern Europe to Austria, Germany and Sweden in violation of Dublin Regulation. The agreement stipulates that consideration of cases of asylum seekers falls on the shoulders of a country through the territory of which the person got in the European Union. Now, Austria is demanding that Hungary takes them back. It is noted that the issue of migrants is drawing particular attention before the presidential election in Austria.

Earlier, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern told the country is considering a possibility of introduction a state of emergency, with the result that some of the refugees would have to return to Hungary - the country from which they arrived in Austria. Hungary, in turn, announced its intention to further tighten national migration policy.

Cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has proposed to hold a referendum on 2 October, and see whether people of the country agreed with the EU program for distribution of migrants on the basis of national quotas. If Hungarian citizens vote against the European plan to redistribute refugees, the authorities will cut already small quota of hosting refugees.

Hungarian authorities have repeatedly complained about unprecedented influx of migrants from the Middle East. They are going to bring to a vote the following question: "Do you want to allow the EU to take a decision on relocation of persons who are not citizens of Hungary to the country without consent of Parliament?"

Hungarian government had taken a tough stance on immigration even before the EU decided to settle 160 thousand refugees around the EU countries. Thus it was supposed to alleviate a situation for countries, which were forced to shelter thousands of application seekers because of their geographical location and attractiveness - Italy, Greece, Germany. However, Budapest strongly opposed Brussels’ attempts to "impose" the mandatory quotas. "The quotas for distribution of migrants can radically change cultural and religious identity of Europe. Hungary will not participate in this program". - warned Mr. Orban.

Since the beginning of the migration crisis, thousands of potential migrants rushed in Hungary, but most of them were expecting to settle in other - more prosperous - EU countries. For example, the Hungarian border was crossed by about 400 thousand migrants in the last year, and the Interior Ministry of Hungary received 177 thousand applications for asylum. Among them, just less than a thousand people were granted asylum, which is slightly less than the EU quota for reception of refugees in Hungary - 2.3 thous. people in two years. 

To reduce the flow of illegal migrants, the Hungarian authorities have built a separation fence with barbed wire on the border with Serbia and Croatia. Even this measure, however, was considered insufficient. Soon, the border with these two countries will get an 8-kilometer control zone to organize a thorough check of migrants arriving in the country. 


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