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European Court of Justice and European Commission want Hungary to let migrants in

Hungarian justice minister, Judit Varga (Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

With the verdict in the case of the “Stop Soros” law package, the European Court of Justice and the European Commission want Hungary to let migrants in, but their efforts are failing because “Fortress Hungary is still standing,” Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

In an interview published in the Saturday issue of the conservative German daily, the justice minister called it shocking that the European Court of Justice’s ruled on Tuesday that Hungary had violated EU law by criminalising the activity of helping people who do not qualify for international protection to initiate asylum procedures.

She stated that the EU is challenging the very law that is meant to protect Europe from illegal migration and its illegal support, “so essentially the European Court of Justice and the European Commission want Hungary to let illegal migrants in.”

She explained that “the EU‘s migration system does not work” but Hungary had a “very well functioning legal regulation,” which “ensured that illegal immigration across Europe was reduced” through the institution of transit zone, which is closed towards the Schengen area and open towards safe third countries.

However, transit zones had to be closed, leaving all those rejected asylum seekers who cannot be sent home staying on the territory of the state illegally, which “contradicts the principle of sovereignty, enshrined in the Fundamental Law of Hungary.” The minister underlined that “Nevertheless, we will not let in illegal migrants, Fortress Hungary is still standing.”

She said the case was not about whether EU law should be applied, but about the fact that “European law is not working effectively.” This is illustrated by the crisis on the borders of Lithuania and Poland, where it was not possible to wait for an EU decision, but “the sovereign member states had to act immediately and find creative solutions.”

Ms Varga added that she welcomed statements of European politicians who “were previously against the fence and now support it.” She stressed that “it is irrational and morally questionable that Hungary is threatened with fines and infringement proceedings for the same things other countries are allowed to do.”

She underlined that Hungary should also receive financial support for the construction of the border fence. This has cost the equivalent of 1.6 billion euros, only one per cent of which has been reimbursed so far, she said.

In response to a question on what the next step in the process should be, she said that the infringement procedures should be halted until there was “a common, viable solution to the immigration crisis.”

She explained that the basic principle of the Hungarian system was that the decision whether one could enter the European Union must be made while they are still outside EU territory. This idea is now shared by other member states, “and many others are building border fences,” she noted.

Responding to a question on which takes the precedence when national law and EU law come into conflict, she emphasized that EU law can only take precedence in the areas of EU competence.

She recalled that the treaties of the European Union clearly set out which areas are shared with the other member states and the European institutions and which remain hundred per cent within the competence of member states. And the first step is for the constitutional court to clarify which area of competence a case falls within, before deciding on it.

“It is sad that the debate on the Polish Constitutional Court case is so distorted by the media and that no one is making this distinction. Of course, life is colourful, and there is always room for debate about where the boundaries between EU and national competences lie. But we certainly cannot say that the question is not legitimate,” Ms Varga concluded.

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