Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Frontex hopes to resume operations in Hungary soon

European border agency Frontex hopes it can soon resume border control operations carried out jointly with the Hungarian authorities along the Hungarian-Serbian border, the agency's spokesman told MTI.

Chris Borowski confirmed by phone the agency’s announcement on Wednesday concerning its decision to suspend joint operations along the border until Hungary fully complies with last month’s ruling of the European Court of Justice in connection with the country’s asylum and immigration law.

Joint operations may resume immediately once the Hungarian authorities comply with the ruling, the spokesman said, adding that the agency’s 20-strong team would, for the time being, be assigned duties at the border area of nearby countries.

Borowski in an earlier statement said joint efforts to protect the EU’s external borders could only be effective if Hungary fully complied with EU law.

Noting the EU court’s Dec. 17 ruling, Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, welcomed Frontex’s announcement on Wednesday on suspending operations in Hungary.

The court ruled that Hungary had not ensured that applicants for international protection could remain in the country until the applicant had received a final decision on appeal.

Referring to EU support, Zoltan Kovacs, state secretary for international communications and relations, said in response: “It seems Brussels wants to take away even the little bit we [Hungary] did get.” “Hungary won’t give in to pressure from pro-migration forces. We’ll continue to defend the Hungarian people and the country and EU’s borders,” Kovacs said on Twitter. “We hope this is not a sign that some want to withhold funding from those countries that insist on protecting the borders,” he added.

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