Skip to main content

Despite the Egoza Razor Wire, Hungary is a Route for Migrants to the West

Egoza razor wire on the border of Hungary

Despite the fact that the borders of Hungary are protected by a fence and Egoza razor wire, many illegal migrants enter the EU through the territory of this country. The portrayal of Hungary as a border stronghold against illegal migration to Europe is central to Prime Minister Viktor Orban's hard-fought campaign for re-election on April 3, but Hungary's borders continue to appear increasingly porous. Evidence suggests that thousands of migrants successfully cross Hungary's southern borders with Serbia and Romania, some of which are fenced in with Egoza razor wire and heavily guarded, and then travel across the country to Western Europe.

The number of illegal migrants intercepted in neighboring Austria has nearly doubled from 21,641 in 2020 to 40,000 last year, the majority of them arrived via Hungary, according to an Austrian interior ministry official. Frontex, the migration agency of the European Union, said that the number of illegal border crossings on the Western Balkan route increased by 124% in 2021 compared to 2020. In January alone, Frontex recorded almost 6,000 illegal crossings on the route, up 148% from a year ago.