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Hungarian border barrier

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Hungarian border barrier
Déli határzár
 Hungary
Hungary-Serbia border barrier.jpg
The border barrier at the Serbo-Hungarian border
HU-Southern Border Barrier.svg
  Border barrier in operation or natural barrier: river (Serbian and Croatian border)
  Planned border barrier (part of the Romanian border)
  Hungary—operator of the barrier
  EU and Schengen member states that assist in barrier operation [i.e. the "Visegrád Group"]
  Other EU and Schengen member states
  EU member states not yet implementing the Schengen Agreement
  Non-EU, Non-Schengen states
  Associated Schengen members
TypeBorder barrier
Height4 metres (13 ft)
Length320 kilometres (200 mi)
Site information
Owner Hungary
Operator Hungarian Defence Force
Controlled by Hungary
In cooperation with the Visegrád Group:[1]
 Czech Republic
 Poland
 Slovakia
In further cooperation with:[2][3]
 Turkey
Site history
Built2015 (2015)
Built by Hungarian Defence Force
MaterialsConcertina wire
EventsEuropean migrant crisis

In 2015, Hungary built a border barrier on its border with Serbia and Croatia. The fence was constructed during the European migrant crisis (see timeline), with the aim to ensure border security by preventing illegal immigrants from entering, and enabling the option to enter through official checkpoints and claim asylum in Hungary in accordance with international and European law.[4] The number of illegal entries to Hungary declined greatly after the barrier was finished as it effectively abolished the entry to Hungary.[5]

Following an increased influx of asylum-seekers and migrants into the Schengen Area despite the Dublin Regulation, Hungary stated that the EU was "too slow to act", and started construction of the barrier in June 2015.[6] According to BBC News, "many of the migrants currently in Hungary have been refusing to register there, in order to continue their journeys to Germany before seeking asylum".[7] Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán commented: "Our job is only to register them".[7] The barrier was completed in September.[8] Later, Hungary constructed barriers on minor sections of the Croatian border[9] that are not separated by the Drava river.

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Hungary

Hungary

Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) of the Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the south, Croatia and Slovenia to the southwest, and Austria to the west. Hungary has a population of 9.7 million, mostly ethnic Hungarians and a significant Romani minority. Hungarian, the official language, is the world's most widely spoken Uralic language and among the few non-Indo-European languages widely spoken in Europe. Budapest is the country's capital and largest city; other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs, and Győr.

Border barrier

Border barrier

A border barrier, border fence or border wall is a separation barrier that runs along or near an international border. Such barriers are typically constructed for border control purposes such as curbing illegal immigration, human trafficking, and smuggling. Some such barriers are constructed for defence or security reasons. In cases of a disputed or unclear border, erecting a barrier can serve as a de facto unilateral consolidation of a territorial claim that can supersede formal delimitation. A border barrier does not usually indicate the location of the actual border, and is usually constructed unilaterally by a country, without the agreement or cooperation of the other country.

Serbia

Serbia

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia without Kosovo has about 6.7 million inhabitants, about 8.4 million if Kosovo is included. Its capital Belgrade is also the largest city.

Croatia

Croatia

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. Its coast lies entirely on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Italy to the west and southwest. Its capital and largest city, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, with twenty counties. The country spans 56,594 square kilometres, and has a population of nearly 3.9 million.

Schengen Area

Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is an area comprising 27 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. Being an element within the wider area of freedom, security and justice policy of the European Union (EU), it mostly functions as a single jurisdiction under a common visa policy for international travel purposes. The area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement and the 1990 Schengen Convention, both signed in Schengen, Luxembourg.

Dublin Regulation

Dublin Regulation

The Dublin Regulation is a European Union (EU) law that determines which EU Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum, submitted by persons seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union. It is the cornerstone of the Dublin System, which consists of the Dublin Regulation and the EURODAC Regulation, which establishes a Europe-wide fingerprinting database for unauthorised entrants to the EU. The Dublin Regulation aims to "determine rapidly the Member State responsible [for an asylum claim]" and provides for the transfer of an asylum seeker to that Member State.

BBC News

BBC News

BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage. The service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world. Deborah Turness has been the CEO of news and current affairs since September 2022.

Viktor Orbán

Viktor Orbán

Viktor Mihály Orbán is a Hungarian politician who has served as prime minister of Hungary since 2010, previously holding the office from 1998 to 2002. He has presided over Fidesz since 1993, with a brief break between 2000 and 2003.

Drava

Drava

The Drava or Drave is a river in southern Central Europe. With a length of 710 kilometres (440 mi), 724 kilometres (450 mi) including the Sextner Bach source, it is the fifth or sixth longest tributary of the Danube, after the Tisza, Sava, Prut, Mureș and perhaps Siret. The Drava drains an area of about 40,154 km2 (15,504 sq mi). Its mean annual discharge is seasonally 500 m3/s (18,000 cu ft/s) to 670 m3/s (24,000 cu ft/s). Its source is near the market town of Innichen/San Candido, in the Puster Valley of South Tyrol/Alto Adige, Italy. The river flows eastwards through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria into the Styria region of Slovenia. It then turns southeast, passing through Croatia and, after merging with its main tributary Mur, forms most of the border between Croatia and Hungary, before it joins the Danube near Osijek.

Serbian border

The border between Hungary and Serbia is 175 kilometres (109 mi) long.[10][11] In June 2015, the Hungarian cabinet approved construction of a 4 metres (13 ft) high barrier.[11] Construction of the barrier began in early July.[12] as of early August, Hungary was on track to complete the fence by the end of the year.[13] The fence, which features concertina wire, is being built by contractors and a deployment of 900 soldiers at a cost of 30 billion forints ($106 million) for the 4-metre (13-foot) fence and the construction of two camps to house asylum applicants.[13]

Border patrol
Border patrol

By mid-August the barrier was taking shape as a double security fence. There is a hastily constructed outer fence made up of three rows of razor wire, scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2015. Inside that, there is a sturdier barrier 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) tall.[14] The slow pace of the fence's construction led to the resignation of Csaba Hende, the Hungarian defence minister, on 7 September 2015.[15] The first stage of construction was started on 13 July and it was completed and the border sealed by Monday, 14 September.[16]

The immediate impact of the fence was to block entry to Hungary to migrants unwilling to apply for refugee status in Hungary, deflecting the flow to Croatia.[17] As Croatia led the migrants to its border with Hungary, Hungary then started the construction of a second fence along its border with Croatia on 18 September 2015.[18]

On 16 September 2015, migrants prevented by the new fence from crossing the border near Horgoš, Serbia, and Röszke, reacted by surging forward and pushing or tearing away a section of the new fence. Hungarian riot police responded with tear gas, causing the migrants to fall back, then regroup and surge forward again, only to be met by another round of tear gas canisters and with water cannon. At this point, some of the migrants began tearing apart a decayed structure, to obtain chunks of concrete which, along with rocks were hurled at police as other rioters built debris fires, filling the air with smoke. The riot subsided as word spread the Hungarian police had opened a nearby gate, but as 200 or 300 migrants walked through the newly opened gate, Hungarian police "surged forward", swinging batons and firing tear gas into the crowd of migrants.[19][20]

Hungary was widely criticized for its use of tear gas and water cannon against migrants attempting to enter the country.[21] Hungary commented the border security: "the official and legal ways to come to Hungary and therefore to the European Union remain open. That's all we ask from all migrants - that they should comply with international and European law".[22]

In April 2016, Hungarian government announced construction of reinforcements of the barrier, which it described as "temporary".[23] In July 2016, nearly 1,300 migrants were "stuck" on the Serbian side of the border.[24] In August 2016, Orbán announced that Hungary would build another larger barrier on its southern border.[5] On 28 April 2017, the Hungarian government announced it had completed a second fence, 155 kilometres (96 mi) long, on the Serbian border.[25][26]

Funding of the construction of the Hungary-Serbia border fence and border hunters project has increased tension between Hungary and the other EU member states. In 2015, Hungary and Slovakia asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to annul the EU decision to relocate migrants.[27] Although the opinions of the Court's Advocate Generals are not binding on the European Court of Justice, on 26 July 2017, the assigned Advocate General expressed the view that the Hungary and Slovakia claims should be dismissed.[28] About a month after the Advocate General released his opinion, Hungary asked the European Commission to pay up. On 31 August 2017, the Hungarian government requested that the European Union refund half of the border barrier costs (€400 million).[29] This request was denied by the President of the European Commission on 5 September 2017.[30] The Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed Hungary and Slovakia's claims in a judgment dated 6 September 2017.[31]

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Concertina wire

Concertina wire

Concertina wire or Dannert wire is a type of barbed wire or razor wire that is formed in large coils which can be expanded like a concertina. In conjunction with plain barbed wire and steel pickets, it is most often used to form military-style wire obstacles. It is also used in non-military settings, such as when used in prison barriers, detention camps, riot control, or at international borders. During World War I, soldiers manufactured concertina wire themselves, using ordinary barbed wire. Today, it is factory made.

Csaba Hende

Csaba Hende

Csaba Hende is a Hungarian politician who served as Minister of Defence of Hungary from 29 May 2010 to 9 September 2015 when he resigned.

Refugee

Refugee

A refugee, conventionally speaking, is a person who has lost the protection of his or her country of origin and who cannot or is unwilling to return there due to well-founded fear of persecution. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) if they formally make a claim for asylum.

Horgoš

Horgoš

Horgoš is a village located in the municipality of Kanjiža, North Banat District, Vojvodina, Serbia. As of 2011 census, it has a population of 5,709 inhabitants. A border crossing between Serbia and Hungary is located in the village.

Serbia

Serbia

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia without Kosovo has about 6.7 million inhabitants, about 8.4 million if Kosovo is included. Its capital Belgrade is also the largest city.

Röszke

Röszke

Röszke is a village in Csongrád county, in the Southern Great Plain region of southern Hungary. The nearest town is Szeged 15 kilometres (9.3 mi).

Member state of the European Union

Member state of the European Union

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states that are signatories to the founding treaties of the union and thereby share in the privileges and obligations of membership. They have agreed by the treaties to share their own sovereignty through the institutions of the European Union in some, but not all, aspects of government. State governments must agree unanimously in the Council for the union to adopt some policies; for others, collective decisions are made by qualified majority voting. These obligations and sharing of sovereignty within the EU make it unique among international organisations, as it has established its own legal order which by the provisions of the founding treaties is both legally binding and supreme on all the member states. A founding principle of the union is the principle of subsidiarity, meaning that decisions are taken collectively if and only if they cannot realistically be taken individually.

Croatian border

Refugees waiting to enter at Röszke
Refugees waiting to enter at Röszke

On 16 October 2015, Hungary, dissatisfied with EU efforts to coordinate border control, announced that it had completed the fence along the 348 kilometres (216 mi) border with Croatia and would close the border at midnight.[32][33] Since 17 October onwards, thousands of migrants daily were diverted to Slovenia instead.

As of 1 January 2023, border controls between both nations ceased to exist as Croatia has joined the Schengen Area. The sections of the barrier at the border with Croatia are planned to be removed in early 2023.[34]

Slovene border

On 14 September 2015, Hungary began building a fence on its border with Slovenia, specifically in the area around the Tornyiszentmiklós-Pince border crossing.[35] The razor wire obstacle was removed two days later.[36]

Romanian border

In mid-September 2015, Hungary was considering a barrier on part of the Romanian border in case of a shift in the migrant flow through this area.[37]

As of March 2016, everything is in place if Hungary decides to build a border barrier on the Hungarian-Romanian border—the military is "only waiting for the command from the government".[38]

In October 2017, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán offered to "help Romania to protect its eastern borders" and added that if illegal migration over Romanian territory continues to grow, Hungary will be forced to build a fence on the common border.[39]

Impact on the number of illegal migrants entering Hungary

Attempted border entries fell following the barrier's construction. During the month of September 2015 there was a total number of 138,396 migrant entries, and within the first two weeks of November the average daily number of intercepted migrants decreased to only 15, which is a daily reduction of more than 4,500.[40]

Number of illegal migrants entering Hungary since 2015
2,500
5,000
7,500
10,000
12,500
15,000
Jan 2015
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan 2016
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Number of illegal migrants entering Hungary since 2015, monthly breakdown
Month Number of migrants
2015-01
14,647
2015-02
17,384
2015-03
5,975
2015-04
8,224
2015-05
11,606
2015-06
19,546
2015-07
38,059
2015-08
57,938
2015-09
138,396
2015-10
99,497
2015-11
315
2015-12
270
2016-01
553
2016-02
2,398
2016-03
3,412
2016-04
3,946
2016-05
3,463
2016-06
3,768
2016-07
573
2016-08
348
2016-09
152

Source: Police.hu - Border information(original URL)

Environmental impact

According to a correspondence published in Nature journal, the border barrier can entangle animals in razor wire and endangers wildlife by blocking animal migration, jeopardizing connectivity of species populations by habitat fragmentation[41] (such as the lesser mole-rat[42]).

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Nature (journal)

Nature (journal)

Nature is a British weekly scientific journal founded and based in London, England. As a multidisciplinary publication, Nature features peer-reviewed research from a variety of academic disciplines, mainly in science and technology. It has core editorial offices across the United States, continental Europe, and Asia under the international scientific publishing company Springer Nature. Nature was one of the world's most cited scientific journals by the Science Edition of the 2019 Journal Citation Reports, making it one of the world's most-read and most prestigious academic journals. As of 2012, it claimed an online readership of about three million unique readers per month.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Wildlife refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans. Wildlife was also synonymous to game: those birds and mammals that were hunted for sport. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, plains, grasslands, woodlands, forests, and other areas, including the most developed urban areas, all have distinct forms of wildlife. While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that much wildlife is affected by human activities. Some wildlife threaten human safety, health, property, and quality of life. However, many wild animals, even the dangerous ones, have value to human beings. This value might be economic, educational, or emotional in nature.

Animal migration

Animal migration

Animal migration is the relatively long-distance movement of individual animals, usually on a seasonal basis. It is the most common form of migration in ecology. It is found in all major animal groups, including birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and crustaceans. The cause of migration may be local climate, local availability of food, the season of the year or for mating.

Habitat fragmentation

Habitat fragmentation

Habitat fragmentation describes the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment (habitat), causing population fragmentation and ecosystem decay. Causes of habitat fragmentation include geological processes that slowly alter the layout of the physical environment, and human activity such as land conversion, which can alter the environment much faster and causes the extinction of many species. More specifically, habitat fragmentation is a process by which large and contiguous habitats get divided into smaller, isolated patches of habitats.

UN and EU's criticism

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and some EU leaders have criticized Hungary for building border barriers.[43][44][45][46] Ban Ki-moon stated: "We should not be building fences or walls, but above all we must look at root causes, in countries of origin."[47] The European Commission rejected Hungarian demands to co-finance its border barrier.[48]

Gallery

Satellite images

Source: "Hungarian border barrier", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_border_barrier.

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References
  1. ^ "Official: V4 countries to contribute police for protection of southern border". Daily News Hungary. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  2. ^ "50 Turkish policemen will join the border protection in Hungary". Daily News Hungary. 18 December 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Turkish police to help Hungary at borders with Serbia, Romania". Daily Sabah. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2022.
  4. ^ Migrant crisis: Hungary's closed border leaves many stranded. BBC News. 15 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Hungary's PM plans 'more massive' fence to keep out migrants. theguardian.com. 26 August 2016.
  6. ^ Nolan, Daniel (17 June 2015). "Hungary orders 100-mile Serbia border fence to keep out migrants". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b Migrant crisis 'a German problem' - Hungary's Orban. 3 September 2015.
  8. ^ Refugees 'exhausted' after Serbia-Hungary border closes. BBC News. 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Migrant crisis: Neighbours squabble after Croatia U-turn". BBC News. 19 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Hungary sends police to deter migrants on Serbia border". BBC. 18 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b Feher, Margit (17 June 2015). "Hungary Plans Security Fence on Serbia Border to Keep Out Migrants". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Hungary Begins Building Serbia Border Fence to Curb Migrants". Wall Street Journal. AP. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  13. ^ a b Feher, Marghit (5 August 2015). "Hungary Plans to Soon Complete Fence to Limit Migrants". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  14. ^ Feher, Marghrit (18 August 2015). "Hungary Deploys 'Border Hunters' to Keep Illegal Immigrants Out". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Hungary's defense minister resigns amid migrant chaos". Deutsche Welle. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  16. ^ Samuels, Robert (14 September 2015). "From west to east, Europe tightens borders as refugees scramble". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  17. ^ Mullen, Jethro (17 September 2015). "Migrant crisis: Thousands overwhelm Croatia". CNN. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Hungary starts building fence on Croatian border". Deutsche Welle. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. ^ Lyman, Rick (16 September 2015). "Migrants Clash With Police in Hungary, as Others Enter Croatia". New York Times. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  20. ^ Radovanovic, Radul (17 September 2015). "Chaotic border scrums as Croatia becomes migrant hotspot". Seattle Times. AP. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  21. ^ Feher, Margit (16 September 2015). "Hungarian Police Fire Tear Gas at Migrants, as More Opt for Route via Croatia". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  22. ^ Migrant crisis: Hungary declares emergency at Serbia border. BBC News. 15 September 2015.
  23. ^ "Reinforcement of temporary border barrier starts on the Hungarian–Serbian border". Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  24. ^ Migrant crisis: UN criticises Hungary over border controls. BBC News. Published on 9 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Hungary Completes 2nd Border Fence Meant to Stop Migrants". Fox News (from the Associated Press). 28 April 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  26. ^ "Hungary Completes Second Fence to Keep Out Migrants". Deutsche Welle. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  27. ^ "Migrant crisis: Hungary challenges EU quota plan in court". BBC. 5 December 2015.
  28. ^ Gorondi, Pablo (26 July 2017). "EU Court Advised to Reject Hungary, Slovakia Refugee Case". Associated Press.
  29. ^ "Hungary's Viktor Orban sends EU a border fence bill". Deutsche Welle. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  30. ^ Heath, Ryan (5 September 2017). "Junker slaps down Orbán over border funding request". Politico. Letter dated 5 September 2017 from Jean-Claude Juncker to Viktor Orbán. [1]
  31. ^ "Refugee crisis: European Court of Justice rejects quota challenge". Deutsche Welle. 6 September 2017. For the judgment see >
  32. ^ "Hungary to Close Border With Croatia". Voice of America. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  33. ^ Lyman, Rick (16 October 2015). "Hungary to Close Its Border With Croatia in Migrant Crackdown". New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  34. ^ "Locals wary as Hungary-Croatia border controls are removed". euronews. 30 December 2022. Retrieved 2023-01-08.
  35. ^ A szlovén határnál is készül drótakadály Híradó, 24 September 2015 (in Hungarian)
  36. ^ Tekercsekben áll a lebontott drótakadály a magyar-szlovén határonBlikk, 26 September 2015 (in Hungarian) Archived 12 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Hungary preparing to extend border fence towards Romania. Reuters.com. 15 September 2015.
  38. ^ It is possible every time that Hungary starts to build the fence on the Romanian border. nol.hu, 5 March 2016.
  39. ^ "Orban offers help to Romania to seal its border for migrants". Europost. 7 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  40. ^ "Elfogott migránsok száma - dátum szerinti lekérdezés". A Magyar Rendőrség hivatalos honlapja (in Hungarian). Archived from the original on 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  41. ^ John D. C. Linnell. Border controls: Refugee fences fragment wildlife. Nature 13 January 2016.
  42. ^ "Vojvodina Blind Mole Rat may go extinct due to construction of a fence along the border between Hungary and Serbia - SMSG - Small Mammal Specialist Group". Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  43. ^ "Hungary's Plan to Build Fence to Deter Migrants Is Criticized". The New York Times. 18 June 2015.
  44. ^ "Hungary says French criticism of border fence 'groundless'". France 24. 31 August 2015.
  45. ^ "EU rejects Hungary's demand to finance border fence". EUobserver. 1 September 2017.
  46. ^ "Merkel and Orban vie for upper hand on humanity and borders". The Irish Times. 5 July 2018.
  47. ^ "Hungary defends border fences blocking migrants". France 24. 30 September 2015.
  48. ^ "EU and Hungary spar over border fence ahead of court ruling". Euractiv. 4 September 2017.
External links

Coordinates: 46°06′00″N 19°24′00″E / 46.1000°N 19.4000°E / 46.1000; 19.4000

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