Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government moves to protect Europe’s borders beyond Hungary by consistently sending Hungarian police to neighboring Balkan countries to stop migrants.
On Monday, the Hungarian National Police announced it was sending border control units to Macedonia and Serbia to assist local police, as these two countries see the heaviest traffic of migrants along the Balkans migration route.
“Hungarian police are committed to preventing the entry of illegal immigrants to the territories of Hungary and the European Union,” said the national police in a statement.
Colonel László Balázs, the chief of the border control unit of the national police, said the officers will play a vital role in the Balkan countries.
“In order to achieve their mission, in addition to its duties within the country, the [national police] have offered assistance to the Western Balkans countries,” Balázs said.
Hungarian police play a vital role in protecting Europe’s borders
The Hungarian officers will primarily be tasked with border patrols to prevent and halt illegal immigration attempts while also assisting the national police forces of the two countries in apprehending people smugglers and illegal immigrants.
Their area of operation will not be limited to the immediate vicinity of the borders but will also include the transit corridors of the two countries.
In addition to their regular equipment, these units also have all-terrain vehicles along with night vision and infrared cameras.
In all cases where police intervention is necessary, the Hungarian officers will perform their duties with the permission of the country they are in and in cooperation with local police.
The contingent leaving for North Macedonia is the 45th such unit, consisting of 30 officers, while another 20 officers will be deployed to Serbia in its 40th such mission.
Serbia is seen as a major transit point for migrants into Hungary. Hungarian police recently discovered tunnels being used by migrants to enter Hungary from Serbia during border patrol operations, highlighting the measures migrants will take to move deeper into Europe.
On Sunday, the Hungarian government announced that in response to an increasing number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country, it is doubling the number of armed forces personnel tasked with border protection duties to 500.