Hungary's border fence – Photo: wikipedia

Kovacs: Government stopping Hungary from becoming 'immigrant country'

EU court: Hungary breaking EU law by criminalising help for asylum seekers

Hungary's criminalisation of help given to people in making their claim for asylum breaches EU law, the European Court of Justice said on Tuesday.

In June 2018, parliament passed the “Stop Soros” package, which penalised help and support for illegal immigration.

The European Commission sued Hungary at the Luxembourg court for restricting activities such as counseling and assisting asylum seekers. The Hungarian measures were contrary to EU asylum law and violated the right of asylum seekers to meet and interact with organisations engaged in such activities, the EC maintained.

The EU court ruled today that Hungary’s assertion that asylum seekers are entitled to international protection in Hungary only if they arrive directly from an unsafe country breached EU law.

Hungarian legislation also fell foul of obligations arising from the Reception Directive, the court ruled, by penalising activity such as lodging an asylum application if it could be shown that the person doing so was aware that the application could not be accepted under Hungarian law.

The law, the court added, restricts rights guaranteed under EU directives, such as the right to meet and communicate with applicants for international protection, and these restrictions could not be justified on the grounds of possible abuses of asylum procedure or combatting illegal immigration as stated in the Hungarian law.

Kovacs: Government stopping Hungary from becoming ‘immigrant country’

Hungary’s current government, as long as it is in power, “will enforce the will of the Hungarian people and prevent Hungary from becoming an immigrant country,” Zoltan Kovacs said on Tuesday.

Referring to the ruling, the state secretary for international communications and relations said on Facebook that the “Stop Soros” law passed in 2018, which made organising and financing illegal migration punishable, had succeeded in preventing the mass influx of migrants.

Referring to public surveys carried out in Hungary, Kovacs said the law had the steadfast support of the Hungarian people.

He said the “pro-immigration left” had savaged the law and, under pressure from the Soros Open Society Foundations, the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against Hungary.

Kovacs said Hungary respected the European Court of Justice’s ruling regarding the Stop Soros package of laws, but Hungary reserved the right to take action against foreign-funded NGOs, including any activities by organisations funded by George Soros seeking political influence or promoting migration.

Hungary’s position on migration, he said, had not changed — namely, that help should be given at the location of the problem.

Kovacs said Hungary and the Hungarian Stop Soros law still presented obstacles to pro-migration plans, and he insisted that the EU still wanted Hungary to give free rein to migrants and the Soros organisations “managing migration”.

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