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17 Dec, 2020 14:52

Hungary dismisses ruling after top EU court finds Orban’s government broke asylum laws

Hungary dismisses ruling after top EU court finds Orban’s government broke asylum laws

A Hungarian minister has dismissed an EU court ruling as “devoid of purpose,” after it said Hungary broke European rules by denying vulnerable migrants the right to apply for asylum and forcibly deporting people to the border.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said retaining control over the nation’s borders was vital in ensuring the sovereignty of Hungary’s “thousand-year-old statehood.” 

Varga’s comments were in response to a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, announced earlier on Thursday, that stated that “Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law.” 

The ruling specifically related to Hungary’s having failed to protect vulnerable migrants and refugees by refusing them a right to apply for asylum, and forcibly deporting people to the Serbian border during the migrant crisis, which peaked in 2015. 

“Today’s decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union has become devoid of purpose, as the circumstances at issue in the present proceedings no longer exist,” Varga wrote. 

The minister continued to underline her government’s commitment to protecting its borders, as well as Europe’s. 

“Hungary will only be Hungarian ... as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore, not only our thousand-year-old statehood, but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders,” Varga added. 

Also on rt.com Hungary vetoed EU budget because Brussels forces states to accept immigration, Orban says

At the peak of the crisis in 2015, President Viktor Orbán ordered the Hungarian authorities to erect a barrier and close the country’s southern border with non-EU Serbia.

This policy, which was widely criticized at the time, blocked a route to Europe for hundreds of thousands of migrants, trapping people in so-called migrant transit zones. 

Hungarian police also forcibly deported many migrants to “a strip of land devoid of any infrastructure” at the Serbian border – a move which was slammed by the EU court. 

The court ruling requires Hungary to alter its policy on the issue at hand or face a financial penalty, though the government says it has already closed the relevant transit zones.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary, ordering Orbán’s government to remedy the non-conformity of the Hungarian Asylum Act with EU law or face legal action.

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