Hungarian Interior Ministry State Secretary Karoly Kontrat hailed the newly completed fence as a way to defend not only Hungary but also the European Union (EU) from migrants attempting to enter the bloc, mostly from poor and conflict-ridden nations in the Middle East and Africa.
“Hungary is defending its border, and the Schengen zone at the same time,” Kontrat said on Friday, referring to the area of free movement within Europe. The new “smart” fence lies along a section of the EU’s external border and includes motion and heat sensors, night cameras and speakers blasting warnings in five languages.
Kontrat gave his remarks at a press conference in Roszke, a town that lies three kilometers (1.8 miles) away from the Serbian border and that had been a hotspot for conflict between police and refugees during the height of the European migration crisis in 2015.
Before the first fence was built that year, more than 400,000 migrants and refugees traveled through Hungary on their way to other regions of Europe.