After redrawing from negotiations with the EU Commission a government statement was issued on May 4 underlining that Hungary have no intention to implement proposals for bringing asylum law in compliance with EU rules and is ready to face legal disputes.

Among the topics of the negotiations between the EC and the Hungarian representatives were the closed transit zones and the policy of holding unaccompanied minors over the age of 14 in the zones along with adults.

According to György Bakondi the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister the Hungarian redrew from negotiations following the denial of a proposed compromise: “During negotiations in recent days the Hungarian Government made a gesture: it offered to examine the possibility of housing migrants aged 14-18 in camps in Hungary until their asylum request is ruled upon instead of in the transit zones, providing they agree to a DNA test. The Commission’s team of experts did not find this to be satisfactory; in their view the very existence of the transit zones and the border security fence in unacceptable,” and made it clear that the Hungarian government was ready to: “fight the battle’ if legal proceedings are initiated.”

Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee noted „It is high time that the EC understands that the Hungarian government refuses to meet its obligations towards asylum-seekers. Currently more than 200 asylum-seekers are detained in metal containers in the transit zones, including children and pregnant women. It is time to take action: now that the government reiterated its position of automatically and unlawfully detaining asylum-seekers in the transit zones, the EC should proceed with an infringement procedure to ensure that Hungary complies with EU rules.”

The asylum policies and practices in Hungary have been criticized widely and ECRE as well as UNHCR have recommended the stop of Dublin Transfers to the country – Germany stopped transfers in April and Denmark in early May.

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Photo: (cc) Rebecca Harms 2016