While the diplomatic mess unfolds, here are some Migszol thoughts on the matter.
Admittedly, in its decision to stop the Dublin process, Fidesz is doing the right thing, as we also argued in our previous post. Sadly, however, we do not agree at all with the reasons to do so - yet another populist move, aimed at presenting a strong leader against “Brussels’ bureaucrats” while trying to seduce Jobbik voters with xenophobic rhetoric. But leaving Fidesz aside, what does this mean for the thousands of asylum seekers who are in Hungary or who have travelled through Hungary? The prospect of continuing from Hungary to other countries is exciting for many. Firstly, this is because the Hungarian government has made integration in Hungary practically impossible. For example, homelessness is structurally inflicted and there is zero Hungarian language education. And secondly, there are large diasporas, family- and friend-networks in the West, that many people want to join. To recognize and support this right would save the European Union quite a bit of money in reception costs, to speak in the language of costs and benefits that so brutally seems to pervade the issue. At Migszol, having worked so long to promote a welcoming Hungary, we are sad to see people leave, but we understand their wish to do so. We are, however, following very curiously the ramifications of this de facto/intended suspension: how will asylum seekers be treated while on Hungarian territory? Will Italy follow? If it will, what will be the fate of the Dublin Regulation?
As happy as we may be that the future of the Dublin Regulation is in danger, we are not naive enough to expect that a possible “replacement” would be any less inhumane. In the meanwhile, it is likely that the EU and surrounding countries will respond with the temporary reinforcement of borders within Schengen. This very weekend, according to a Macedonian newspaper, there will be a border control operation extending from Macedonia to Serbia, Hungary and Austria. Practically, that means that the train between Budapest and Vienna will pause at the border, and border patrols will try to spot people that look like asylum-seeker (in other words: “non-Western”). If anybody should be found aboard without a valid passport or the refugee travel document, they will be stopped from travelling and potentially arrested for a border offence (“border offence” is a very curious Hungarian legal category). So, despite the initial excitement, the question arises: will the suspension of Dublin lead to the fortification of borders not only outside of Europe, but also within?