A decision by the EU justice and home affairs council to unify visa regulations for third country citizens entering the EU will harm Hungarian communities abroad, the government office chief said. János Lázár told a weekly news briefing that the Visegrad Group vigorously protested the decision. The right to decide who enters Hungary is the country’s prerogative, he said, noting that the decision would adversely affect non-resident Hungarians living beyond the country’s borders. Another decision to be discussed in the council in March concerning the registration of EU citizens entering and leaving the Schengen zone would harm the interests of ethnic Hungarians because it would slow down the entry process considerably, he added.
Meanwhile, on the topic of security and immigration, Lázár insisted that Hungary was the safest country in Europe, adding that illegal migration, however, could compromise its “recently restored” public security. He said that the number of reported crime cases had been between 270,000-290,000 in 2016, down from 450,000 in 2010. He attributed that reduction to such factors as the addition of 7,100 officers to the police force.