However, the Councils implementingdecisionof March 2022, which set out the conditions for the temporary protection of Ukrainian refugees, took that out of the text. To ensure a favourable protection environment, UNHCR is supporting government-led efforts through a multisectoral response focusing on protection, reception and accomodation, and material assistance for most vulnerable groups, including those with specific needs. Meanwhile, many Roma families travelling to the country are stuck in Pragues central train station as nobody wants to provide them with decent accommodation. At the same time, Viktor Orbans governing Fidesz party is trying to balance humanitarian assistance with distancing itself politically from the war. Alongside its EU partners, Hungary has adopted the Temporary Protection Directive, granting Ukraines citizens and long-term residents a years permit to stay, work and access welfare services. OCHA coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises. I had my theories that [Putin and Orban] reached an agreement, something like you dont support Ukraine, and Ill give you Transcarpathia, says Marina at the protest, as her friends nod in agreement. It seemed surreal that less than three days before, I had been hastily packing essentials in Lviv, western Ukraine, as municipal authorities announced city-wide blackouts. We arrived there seven hours later, and continued by taxi to Chop, a small city on the Ukrainian side of the Hungarian border. Hungarys public officials and private investors have taken an interest in this demographic. as well as older people and those with disabilities. If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. But I don't know exactly who got the money in the end.. By Aneta Zachov and Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com and EURACTIV.cz, Meanwhile, counterarguments appearing in Hungarian language media suggest that their passport country, Hungary, is expected to provide them with the same safety net as other citizens. International trains on the Warsaw-Prague-Bratislava-Budapest line have carried many Roma families from Ukraine in all directions for weeks, the Hungarian service ofRadio Free Europe (RFE)reportedon Wednesday (18 May). Please check individual images for licensing details.

Some critics argue that EU citizens (in this case, dual Hungarian-Roma citizens) are not entitled to temporary protection. Volunteers toldRFEthat Roma families travelling by train often stop for this one day but skip going to the accommodation where they are often not welcome. As people move across borders, space for opportunism grows. But as military action draws closer to Ukraines western borders, she believes it will be increasingly hard for Orban to justify amicable relations with Putin. These sentiments are now resurfacing among the expat community in Budapest. The experiences of Yunona who was travelling from Odesa in southern Ukraine, through Moldova, Romania and Hungary, to Croatia show how some are feeding on human despair. Some 12% of Zakarpattias population identified as Hungarian in Ukraines 2001 census. UNHCR and partners are present at border crossing points, help/information points as well as in urban areas to provide information on rights and available services, identify vulnerable refugees and refer them to relevant services and to monitor and reinforce reception conditions, while ensuring basic needs are met. On 24 February, the prime minister condemned Russias attack on Ukraine, but reiterated the countrys position of non-involvement in the military conflict. Hungary's leader is trying to avoid being dragged into a neighbour's war, but his policy of strategic calmness is failing to strike a chord with some. Yet, according toRFEsources, the Hungarian government is not doing so, information also confirmed by Roma activistspreviouslyto EURACTIV. According to the human rights watchdog, refugees with Hungarian citizenship have been growing impatient and increasingly dissatisfied. We have been working 24/7 since the Russian invasion began, to inform those fleeing of these options, but this is the role of the state and an NGO cannot be expected to do it on its own., A placard rests at Budapest's Holocaust memorial. Watching small children sleeping on the floor is completely unacceptable, Jaroslav Miko, founder of the Czechs Help (ei pomhaj) NGO told dailyPrvo. Another nine hours and 358km later, we were in Budapest, the Hungarian capital. On the bus [from Romania to Hungary] I was told to throw in an additional 50 euros, because they ask for bribes at the customs, she said. She seemed determined to act but, the more we talked, the clearer I heard the desperation in the voice of a woman who had been forced to abandon her home and seek refuge abroad. We were let in because we have three children.. Since the war in Ukraine began on 24 February 2022 over 1,312,550 refugees have arrived to Hungary directly from Ukraine or via third countries, the majority women and children (some 70 per cent). I would not be surprised if this was done under pressure from Hungary and Poland, the paper quoted professor Boldizsr Nagy at Central European University as saying. After one day, however, the registration procedure starts, and they will be accommodated in regular accommodation. Many are in need of urgent medical care, including persons with chronic illnesses and those with mental and physical disabilities. Many women just take children into their arms, leave their cars and walk because it is quicker to cross on foot, she tells me.

Hungarian society is already distrustful and dismissive of various minority groups and the poor. In response to Russias invasion of Ukraine, the Hungarian national government established a mechanism to provide immediate privately-sourced funding to the region, christening it a Transcarpathian Bridge. But as the war continues and drags westward, more people will flee into Ukraines neighbouring countries without the financial means or support networks for further relocation. As queues at some crossings like Tysa, Luzhanka and Vylok reach 100 cars, others remain relatively free.

On 3 April, Hungarys citizens will vote in parliamentary elections, choosing between Orbans Fidesz party and the unified opposition, whose candidate for prime minister is Peter Marki-Zay. She has been representing the interests of the Carpathian Hungarians there ever since. Help us defend it through trustworthy, independent journalism. Because of this, they are now unable to receive aid, even though they are fleeing the war. Meanwhile, counterarguments appearing in Hungarian language media suggest that their passport country, Hungary, is expected to provide them with the same safety net as other citizens. We are therefore transporting many Roma people to other European countries at our own expense. But some say more state involvement is required. We need to mobilise the local public and tell them what is happening in Ukraine, Alla said, waving several blue-and-yellow placards with slogans like Please Stop War! and We Want to Live!, hand-drawn by her eight-year-old daughter. The Czech Republic is experiencing an influx of Roma people with dual Hungarian-Ukrainian citizenship. Still, the interior ministry has said that these people are not entitled to financial assistance as they are not fleeing from war. Its website does offer some information for those seeking temporary protection in Hungary, but does not mention access to the job market or welfare services for those granted legal stay. The problem is that this is an option that people are not aware of. More than 180,000 displaced people had arrived in Hungary by 6 March, making Hungary the second largest recipient of Ukrainian refugees after Poland. A 2018 poll by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation found that, while 81% of Zakarpattia residents supported maintaining the oblast as part of a unitary Ukraine, 14% also expressed suspicion that the Orban governments financial assistance signalled his ambition for the territories to be part of Hungary. On 7 March Orban allowed more NATO troops into Hungary, but forbade the flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine. But Hungarys government may not be able to keep its distance from the conflict for long. Dual Hungarian and Ukrainian citizenship is commonplace among this minority, with families straddling the border. According to the daily, in Bratislava, anyone arriving from Ukraine can get a days food and a roof over their head at the station, even without a passport. On the afternoon of 27 February, Budapest was bustling with the normal Sunday life of a big European capital. Meanwhile,RFEreceived reports that the Hungarian authorities are trying to persuade Roma to move on to other countries, information that the interior ministry denied. Yet, according toRFEsources, the Hungarian government is not doing so, information also confirmed by Roma activistspreviouslyto EURACTIV. The move to strike the ability of EU countries to send back Ukrainian refugees to the member state from which they came could also ensure there is no disproportionate burden placed on frontline countries. By 7 March, passenger traffic across checkpoints was challenging, but steady, according to Ukraine's State Border Guard Service. According to activists, the same trend, though not on the same scale, can be observed in Warsaw. The figure rises above 30% in smaller villages by the border. One legal interpretation, reflected in the comments of the interior ministry, would suggest the state does not carry more obligations towards these Roma families with dual citizenship than it does towards tourists of their country abroad. Orbans attempt to distance himself from Ukraines internal matters has an exception. Budapests local government and non-profit sector actively extend welcomes to those fleeing Ukraine. We advocate for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all.

Anti-war demonstrations gather ever larger crowds. Meanwhile, Budapests main train stations have quickly become mini-humanitarian hubs, where a web of NGOs operates alongside individual volunteers distributing essentials, matching families with accommodation and arranging transport. Since 2011, the Hungarian state has spent around 115m on cultural heritage restoration and maintenance, local business development, and initiatives to promote the Hungarian language in the region. Some who could afford to leave early, like Yunona, will only transit through Hungary on their way elsewhere in Europe, where family and friends or better conditions and opportunities await.

It is very welcome that the Hungarian government is providing temporary protection for those arriving from Ukraine who request it, said Andras Lederer, head of advocacy at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which offers legal support for migrants and refugees. A sign in Budapest welcoming Ukrainian refugees to Hungary, Occasional updates from our team covering the post-Soviet space, We encourage anyone to comment, please consult, 2018 poll by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Ukraine uses Russian invasion to pass laws wrecking workers rights, Fears for Ukrainian human rights activist captured by Russia, Ukrainian prisoners of war reveal torture and humiliation in Russian jails, Unions sound warning about UK-backed plan to rebuild Ukraine, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. Olga Kolesnikova, who spent 60 hours travelling to the Chop-Zhony crossing from Berdyansk in south-eastern Ukraine, recalls the despair at the border. Another Alla, from Kyiv who entered Hungary on 28 February through a checkpoint near Koson, 30km south of Chop echoes Olgas words. While both sides have strongly focused on domestic matters in their campaigns, when it comes to foreign policy, the result now also watched by the systems outsiders, like Alla, Olga and others newly arrived from Ukraine will essentially determine whether Hungary continues strategic calmness about Russias aggression in the neighbourhood, or reconciles with Brussels. I had left Lviv with two friends early on the morning of 25 February, catching a 3.28am train (delayed by two hours) south-west to Uzhhorod. 1999 - 2022 | Efficacit et Transparence des Acteurs Europens. Decentralised support networks appear on- and offline to provide help for the capitals involuntary guests. In front of us stood a family of three: a woman, Alla Kulikova, her husband Konstantyn, and their daughter, Polina. As those affected by war escape Ukraine, the countrys western border checkpoints have become the first bottlenecks on the way to safety. Bla Rcz, a Roma activist from the 1 Hungary Initiative, haswarnedthat many Roma were previously granted Hungarian citizenship so they could vote in the Hungarian elections. The situation at the border is overwhelming, she says. Western Ukraines Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia) oblast, which also borders Poland, Slovakia and Romania, has long been on the Hungarian governments nationalist agenda. In 2015, the Hungarian government reportedlytransportedthousands of refugees to the Austrian border without any registration or data collection so that it would not have to take them back later. Ukraine Situation Flash Update #21 (15 July 2022), Ukraine: Situation Report, 13 Jul 2022 [EN/RU/UK], Ukraine, Moldova | DG ECHO-funded humanitarian assistance - DG ECHO Daily Map | 12/07/2022, Ukraine Situation: UNHCR Romania Operational Update 15 - 30 June 2022. Standing among demonstrators at the Russian embassy, Marina an Uzhhorod-born Ukrainian who lives and works in Budapest told me: If [Orban] does not want the war to reach Hungary, he should help Ukraine now., Ukrainians in Budapest demonstrate against Russia's invasion. This number is expected to top 250,000, according to UN estimates.

No one there addresses whether they have dual citizenship, Miko explained. In 2011, Fidesz introduced a new simplified path to acquire Hungarian citizenship for ethnic Hungarians living outside the country, making it easier for many Hungarian Roma living in Ukraine to receive a second passport. According to him, the Ukrainian minister took this warning seriously and promised that the police would address this problem. Still stupefied by our experience after a day of rest, we were walking by the sunlit Danube and did not immediately register a hesitant Slava Ukraini! (glory to Ukraine) uttered in our direction. Refugees from Ukraine queue outside a Budapest train station. Get one whole story, direct to your inbox every weekday. Rakuan claimed that organised crime might be behind the Roma influx from East to West without providing any evidence for his suspicions. The EUs Temporary Protection Directive of 2001 states that EU countries are obligated to take back people they have previously granted protection but have attempted to move on to another member state. The queue was around 2.5km long. Meanwhile, the Hungarian interior ministry said the protection of the interests of Hungarian citizens is ensured by the consular service but stressed that this was not the same as protection resulting from refugee or asylum status..

Many Roma Ukrainian refugees with dual Hungarian citizenship have been shuttling between Visegrd capitals as governments refuse to provide these families with the same aid as other Ukrainians with a single passport. Refugees are finding a warm welcome in Budapest. [] Regularising their stay in Hungary is also important to ensure that children can access education, people have access to healthcare, and that if needed shelter and food are provided. Czech Interior Minister Vt Rakuan has already warned his Hungarian and Ukrainian counterparts about the problem and asked for assistance. This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. Uber Files gives new impetus to discussions on platform workers directive, Canada to return Nord Stream 1 turbine to Germany in blow to Ukraine, Ukraine's richest man agrees to hand over media empire, Rome fires mount pressure to diffuse ecological bomb, Shell on cusp of Albanian discovery that could change Europes energy future, Rama says, Russia shuts down terminal after Kazakhstan offers to send more oil to the EU, Germany hotspot for hosting child porn as Berlin wrestles with Commission over privacy, Italys COVID surge is real reason for concern, says health foundation, Ukraine cries foul as Canada sends Nord Stream 1 turbine to Germany, Lavrov storms out of G20 talks as West presses Moscow on Ukraine, Terminal: inside Europes summer airport chaos, Visegrad plays hot potato with Ukrainian Roma refugees. Originally from Kharkiv, north-eastern Ukraine, Alla and her family had fled to Hungary two days earlier. The organisation transports the people most often to Germany, Norway or Ireland. As a result, the Roma who have fled from Ukraine often with Hungarian mother tongues and even Hungarian citizenship find it harder to get help than even Ukrainians, Zdori Zsolt, the press office at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee told EURACTIV. At the same time, religious organisations like the Sub-Carpathian Reformed Church serve Transcarpathian protestant communities on both sides of the border. The asylum directorate of Hungarys National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing told us the authority was working hard to help all those coming from Ukraine, but refused to comment further. [Shutterstock/Sid0601], Print Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp Telegram. I have asked the Ukrainian minister whether the Ukrainian police could look into suspicions of organised crime in the Transcarpathian region (western Ukrainian region bordering Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania), from where people might be being sent across the EU border in an organised manner, to obtain benefits that they are not entitled to in the Czech Republic, the interior minister added. Despite Ukraine not legally recognising dual citizenship, Andrea Bocskor, a dual citizen of Ukraine and Hungary from Berehove in the Zakarpattia oblast, was elected to the European Parliament as a member of Hungarys Fidesz in 2014. When asked whether Hungary will accept Hungarian refugees from Ukraine and provide assistance, the interior ministry in Budapest replied on Friday (13 May) that it could not interpret the question as Hungarian citizens have the right of free movement and residence within the European Union, which is granted to citizens of the bloc.

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