Another EU Court decision against Hungary’s Orbán anti-asylum policy

Copyright: European Union

The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, continuously breaks EU laws and attacks EU values. His acts against those seeking asylum are cruel, as those still living in Hungary face inhumane conditions of detention. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has already ruled against these policies.

Hungary still needs to implement a ruling from top EU judges in Luxembourg in 2020, as stated in a press release from the ECJ. The ECJ considers this failure a deliberate avoidance of applying a common EU policy, seen as an unprecedented and severe infringement of EU law. As a result, the EU top court has fined Hungary for persistently breaking EU asylum rules and has ordered the country to pay a fine of 200 million euros, plus an additional 1 million euros for every day it fails to comply in the future.

Orbán, once against, was infuriated and saw behind the ECJ decision a conspiracy against his government.

“The # ECJ’s decision to fine #Hungary with 200M euros plus 1M euros daily(!!!) for defending the borders of the European Union is outrageous and unacceptable. It seems that illegal #migrants are more important to the Brussels bureaucrats than their own European citizens,” the Prime Minister posted on X.

Hungary’s nationalist and anti-EU government implemented the most inflexible anti-immigration rules after the refugee crisis of 2015, disdaining the fact that people arriving in Europe were fleeing from a humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The Hungarian government constructed fences protected by razor wire along its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia. It also set up transit zones for holding asylum seekers on its border with Serbia. In 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) determined that Budapest’s policies had limited access to international protection, unlawfully detained asylum applicants, and failed to uphold their right to stay in Hungary while their applications underwent due process. The transit zones were closed in 2020, shortly after the first ECJ ruling. However, the European Commission believed that Hungary had still not complied and requested the European Court of Justice to fine Hungary, as stated on Thursday by the ECJ.

After the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020, the Hungarian government passed a law requiring individuals seeking international protection to apply for a travel permit at Hungarian embassies in Belgrade or Kyiv before entering Hungary. The European Commission took Hungary to the European Court of Justice over this law, arguing that the country still needed to meet its obligations under EU rules requiring all member countries to have common procedures for granting asylum.

In a disastrous period for the Hungarian economy, Orbán’s authoritarian rule has cost his country billions of EU funds, which have been frozen because of his continuing breach of the rule of law, independence of justice, and media freedom.  

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