migrants Greece Macedonia Serbia Germany
Syrian migrants walk Greece's border with Macedonia in Kilkis prefecture Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Hungary has unveiled plans for a fence along its border with Serbia to keep out would-be-refugees as anti-migrant hysteria reaches a crescendo across Europe.

The nationalist conservative government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the four-meter-high (13-foot-high) fence was a necessary measure to stem the increasing influx of asylum-seekers reaching the country from the Middle East via the Balkans.

"Immigration is one of the most serious problems facing the European Union today," said Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, Reuters reported.

"The EU's countries seek a solution ... but Hungary cannot afford to wait any longer.

"We are talking about a stretch of border 175 km (110 miles) long, whose physical closure can happen with a four-meter high fence."

Hungary, an EU member, claims that 57,000 migrants crossed its border in the first five months of 2015, more than the total for last year.

Orban's government is among the most hawkish when it comes to immigration within the EU. Budapest has recently linked migrants to terrorism, described Italian-sponsored plans to redistribute refugees among member states as "bordering on insanity" and put up billboards reminding newcomers that "If you come to Hungary, you cannot take away Hungarians' jobs".

The xenophobic drift has worried the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHRC), which has started a counter ad campaign showing the life of those refugees who make it to Hungary.

"We want Hungarians to understand that refugees are people just like them, caught in very extraordinary circumstances," said Kitty McKinsey, spokeswoman for the UNHCR Regional Representation in Central Europe.

"We're not in a fight with the government. We're here to support the government in taking care of refugees."