Hungary wants to open its borders only to the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The EU accuses Hungary of discrimination.
Starting today, September 1, foreign nationals may NOT enter Hungary for the purpose of residence. The decision also applies to Romanian citizens who wanted to spend their vacation in Hungary.
So far nothing abnormal. The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the decisions of many governments regarding travel rules.
But Hungary has decided to open its borders to tourists from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, informs to Reuters. Citizens of the 3 states can travel to Hungary on the basis of a negative COVID-19 test. The Budapest authorities say there are sufficient security guarantees.
This measure has drawn serious criticism from the EU executive. He notes that Hungary's attempt to admit visitors from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, but not from other EU Member States, is discriminatory and illegal. The EU Commission in Brussels said Hungary's decision conflicted with EU rules on free travel within EU borders.
"Any measure that does not respect these fundamental principles of human law in the EU should, of course, be withdrawn immediately." said European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.
It should be noted that Hungary's decision to open the borders to the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia was taken after talks between Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The latter agreed to receive tourists with holidays booked in Hungary for September.
If the negative COVID-19 test is a sufficient guarantee of safety, why did they preferentially close the borders? We can say that Hungary's decision is a strategic geo-political one and less in line with the COVID-19 pandemic.