Date
24 January 2017
Afghan migrants walk along a road after crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary illegally last week. Photo: Reuters
Afghan migrants walk along a road after crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary illegally last week. Photo: Reuters

Hungary halts EU asylum program for migrants

Hungary unilaterally suspended a European Union asylum program, saying it was overburdened by illegal migrants, Reuters reported.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government demonstrated Budapest’s frustration Tuesday with proposals to spread asylum seekers around the continent by refusing to take any more migrants sent there under EU regulations.

EU leaders are due to debate a new scheme Thursday to relocate Mediterranean migrants landing in Italy and Greece.

The European Commission demanded an immediate explanation after Hungary stopped accepting foreigners returned there from other EU states for their asylum requests to be handled by Budapest.

The move was seen as a challenge to the Dublin Regulations, which state that asylum claims be handled in the EU country where migrants first arrive or first request protection.

Hungarian officials have said an EU plan to relieve the strain on Italy and Greece fails to recognize their own problem with about 60,000 migrants who have crossed Hungary’s EU land borders, mostly from non-EU Serbia.

Orban has said a proposal by the commission to force states to take a quota “borders on insanity”.

Budapest said in a statement: “Hungary has used up the capacities at its disposal.”

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe