Balkan Insight (21 May 2020)
Hungary’s government announced that it was closing down the controversial transit zones in Röszke and Tompa. The announcement came after the European Court of Justice, ECJ, ruled that asylum-seekers may not be detained longer than 28 days in transit zones. Some of them have been detained there for 300 or even 400 days.
Gergely Gulyás, from the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the government disagreed with the ECJ judgment, and considered it a risk to Europe’s security, but “we are obliged to comply with the rulings, and Hungary will do so”. He added: “We have decided to abolish the transit zone in a physical sense as well.”
In future, asylum-seekers aiming to enter Hungary will have to apply for asylum at Hungarian consulates in non-EU-neighbouring countries. “External border protection is an issue that Hungary cannot, does not want to, and will not concede,” Gulyás said.
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