Center for Fundamental Rights

About the introduction of a state of emergency due to mass migration

The most important consequence of the declaration of a state of emergency due to mass migration across the whole country, which is in line with the existing regulations, is that the power of defence and law enforcement agencies will expand; however, it will have no serious impact on the everyday lives of Hungarian citizens. Namely, this type of state of emergency does not constitute a special legal order, therefore the suspension of the exercise of fundamental rights is not possible. The relevant law provides, in times of emergency, an opportunity for the Hungarian Defence Forces to lawfully cooperate with the police in protecting the state borders. The Defence Forces may complement the work of the police in other respects as well, but cannot take over their competences and duties. To some extent, the police’s power to take action will also expand, and government agencies may temporarily make use of certain assets, but this should not affect citizens’ private property. In addition, certain administrative, licensing, construction and asylum procedures will be accelerated or simplified.

Similarly to the current state of emergency due to mass migration, the previous measures to deal with migratory flows also received numerous criticisms. However, in hindsight, the erecting of border fences and the establishment of accelerated asylum procedures and transit zones have proved to be necessary and effective steps. Given the stranded crowds of tens of thousands of migrants in the Balkans, whose obvious aim is to make their way through Hungary towards Western Europe, it is to be presumed that the new measures will be proven right by time and reality. It is exactly this potential danger that provides the basis for the government’s ability to declare the above state of emergency, since, according to the law, it is possible in any migration-related situation, which may jeopardize public safety or public order.

 

The full analysis can be read here: Abot the introduction of a state of emergency due to mass migration