The old Röszke-Horgos border-crossing station has been re-opened. The two-by-two-lane border-crossing station on the No. 5 motorway is open to international passenger traffic, not including vehicles which are not allowed to use motorways, and coaches in August, every day between 7.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed at the inauguration ceremony held on Friday that Hungarian-Serbian bilateral cooperation has never been as good as it is today.

Hungary and Serbia must jointly overcome the competitive disadvantages stemming from their Central-European location such as the difficulties that emerge in the penetration of their borders which constitute obstacles to economic growth. According to plans, therefore, new border-crossing stations will be opened at Kübekháza and Bácsszentgyörgy, the politician said.

 Photo: Márton Kovács

The Minister pointed out that, the three permanent border-crossing stations and the old Röszke one included, there are at present four border-crossing stations by road with restricted opening hours on the Hungarian-Serbian border.

In addition to opening new stations, the goal is to extend the opening hours of the border-crossing points which only provide limited access at present, and to permit passenger cars to use the re-opened facility in Röszke also beyond the peak period, he added.

Mr Szijjártó said: Hungary and Serbia are extending the opportunities of those who wish to cross their borders legally; at the same time, they are determined to create obstacles for anyone who attempts to do so illegally.

More migrants are arriving in Europe today via the Western-Balkan route than via the Mediterranean. More than a hundred thousand illegal migrants have arrived in Hungary this year, and almost all of them from the direction of Serbia, the Minister said.

Photo: Márton Kovács

He highlighted that it is Hungary’s duty to protect its borders and those of the European Union.

At the same time, every Member State of the European Union must be obliged to observe the Dublin Regulations on migration issues, the Minister stressed.

Mr Szijjártó pointed out that the construction of the temporary security border fence is not a human rights, not a foreign affairs, and in particular, not a Hungarian-Serbian bilateral issue.

 

Photo: Márton Kovács

Serbia is suffering from the pressure of migration just as much as Hungary, he added.

The Minister said: Hungary intends to organise a conference in Budapest in October with the participation of the foreign and home affairs ministers of EU Member States, the Western-Balkan countries and Turkey in order to find a common solution to the pressure of migration.

He added: these solutions should not be sought within the EU. It would therefore be correct if the Community provided development grants for third countries by tying them to conditions which result in the alleviation of the pressure of migration.

Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic pointed out that he would like to see the time – and the sooner the better – when there is no need for border-crossing stations or the guarding of the borders because both countries are members of the European Union.

He stressed that while illegal migrants are arriving in Hungary from Serbia, they arrive in Serbian territory via the European Union.

Photo: Márton Kovács

Serbia is unable to solve the problem on its own, Ivica Dacic said, and added in order to demonstrate the gravity of the situation that during his term in office as Minister of Internal Affairs, in 2008, only a hundred asylum requests were submitted; this figure currently stands at 60,000.

The Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister said that Serbian-Hungarian relations have not been better for decades, and are characterised by mutual trust and partnership.

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[photo credits-featured image: “Roszke border” by Milei.vencel – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roszke_border.JPG#/media/File:Roszke_border.JPG]

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