Hungary - Country Report: Legal and Policy Framework of Migration Governance
Daniel Gyollai | Glasgow Caledonian University
In this report, our objective is to provide a snapshot of the current situation of the governance and management of migration in Hungary, the regulatory landscape, citing and reflecting on developments and events occurred between 2011 and 2018. Section 1) gives a statistical overview of international migration to Hungary. The data displayed shows the main patterns of asylum seeker flows, their recognition rates and the scale of people being expelled from the territory. We briefly describe the demographic composition of third-country nationals residing in the country, closing the section with a few remarks on migratory balance. Section 2) outlines the political, cultural and socio-economic context in which migration management enfolds. It briefly introduces the linguistic and religious cleavages and the political and institutional arrangements of the state. Without engaging in a thorough analysis, we will try to pin down those critical socio-economic and political factors that are accountable for the current escalation of tensions. In doing so, we move on to Section 3) that gives an insight on how the constitutional organization of the state has been altered and restructured over the past years, thus establishing an ideological, legal and institutional base for the transformation of the migration and asylum framework. Section 4) accounts for the legislative and institutional framework of immigration and asylum by introducing the major Acts that govern the field, the authorities that are responsible for the implementation of the policy, and the Government’s migration strategy. Since the recent developments fundamentally changed the scope of the framework, now representing its basic tenets, instead of discussing the amendments in a separate section, the refugee crisis driven reforms will be embedded here. In chronological order we will address all major amendments since 2015 that affected the legislative framework. Section 5) explains the legal status of foreigners, including asylum applicants, beneficiaries of international protection, the main categories of third country nationals legally residing in the country in terms of the type of residence permit they hold, irregular migrants, and unaccompanied minors. In describing the situation of asylum seekers, we will outline the first main stages of the application procedure. Reception conditions and detention of asylum seekers, however, being subject of another work package of the project, are out of the scope of the report. Finally, in Section 6) we will analyse the national framework compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights based on the Court’s case law in relation to migration and asylum.
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