Hungary reverses decision to suspend key EU rule on asylums
June 24, Budapest: Hungary on Wednesday reversed its decision to suspend a key EU rule on the processing of asylum claims, a day after it said it would no longer abide by the regulation because the country had become “overburdened” by migrants.
The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement said that, “Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has informed his Austrian counterpart that Hungary was not suspending any rule of the European Union.”
The right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban had caught Brussels by surprise on Tuesday when it announced it was indefinitely opting out of the so-called Dublin Regulation.
The provision requires a migrant’s claim to be processed in the EU country they first arrive in. It means that EU countries are obliged to take back migrants that arrive in their state but then travel on elsewhere.
Budapest’s announcement thus caused consternation in neighbouring Austria, the next destination for many asylum seekers arriving in Hungary.
The move to suspend the Dublin Regulation, which came ahead of a key EU summit on the immigration crisis on Thursday, had prompted Brussels to demand “immediate clarification”.
A statement by the EU Commission said Hungary had told other EU states that the suspension was due to a “technical failure”.
However, a Hungarian government spokesperson said the decision was made because the country’s asylum system could no longer cope with the flood of migrants arriving in the country.
“Hungary has used up the capacities at its disposal,” the spokesperson said in a prepared statement. “The situation requires fast action; in this escalated situation Hungary needs to take a move ahead of EU decisions.”
So far this year, more than 60,000 immigrants have crossed into Hungary illegally, the government said.
The Oslo Times