Hungary is considering building a 175km border fence with neighbouring Serbia to prevent the influx of migrants into the country. Hungary faces substantial migrant pressures, as many see the country as a means of entering the EU before moving on to other nations such as Germany and Sweden. Hungary borders non-EU countries such as Serbia, which means it has to deal with migrants seeking better lives within the common free movement zone that is the EU.
The Hungarian government maintains that the fence will not by counter to any of its international obligations. Currently, Hungary receives third party asylum seekers from Greece and Serbia, countries which the EU does not consider as having adequate infrastructure to ensure asylum seeker safety. Consequently, Hungary bears the brunt of asylum applications in the region, with 53,000 people requesting asylum this year alone, up from 43,000 in 2014, and 2,150 in 2012.
This drastic increase is due to the instability and conflict in the Middle East, with the vast majority of applicants coming from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Alongside the asylum seeker issue, Hungary has often been in the news in recent years with regards to its policies on the transient Roma people, with many in the international community claiming Budapest is discriminating against the aforementioned group. While such attitudes towards the Roma and foreigners are not new to Hungary, the country has undergone a shift to the right following the election of Prime Minister Viktor Orban in 2010.