EU’s decision to distribute migrants ‘illegal’, says Hungary’s Justice Minister
The governments of Hungary and Slovakia have filed a case against the EU’s refugee distribution plan. “Hungary and Slovakia have accused the EU of negligence and violations with regard to its decision to distribute up to 120,000 refugees across Europe,” German newspaper Die Welt reported.
Defending his government’s decision to challenge the EU’s migrant policy in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Hungary’s Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi told Die Welt, “We have compiled a ten-point list of reasons we believe this decision to be illegal.” Minister Trocsanyi criticised EU’s plans of redistributing migrants for incentivising illegal immigration. The EU was telling migrants to “go ahead and come to Europe, and we will handle the distribution,” Trocsanyi said.
According to European border agency Frontex, more than 2.3 million migrants entered Europe since the migrant crisis stated in 2015. Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to disband the EU-wide border controls (Dublin regulation), the majority of these migrants have ended up in Germany. Facing domestic opposition to her ill-advised ‘Refugee Welcome’ stance, Merkel would like to see hundreds of thousands of these migrants relocated to other European countries — a move that could boost her re-election bid in September parliamentary election.
Prime Minster Orbán’s government refuses to buy German Chancellor Merkel’s call for Hungary and other EU member states to “accept their fair share of refugees.” “[E]verybody who comes to the EU as a migrant is basically coming illegally,” Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said earlier this year. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports:
Budapest has urged a new EU-wide mechanism to deport migrants, saying that deportation is “mostly not possible” in current conditions. Hungary and Slovakia filed a joint case against the EU’s refugee distribution scheme.
Representatives of the two nations addressed the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Wednesday in a bid to dispute the EU’s decision to distribute migrants throughout the bloc on a quota basis. Faced with hundreds of thousands of migrants sailing to Italian and Greek shores, the EU Council decided to lighten the load by distributing newcomers among the remaining member states. However, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic all voted against the move.
Hungary and Slovakia’s main opposition to EU’s migrant redistribution plan isn’t the number of refugees allotted to each member state, but the establishment of a mechanism that would open doors to recurring waves of migrant redistribution as Germany drags Europe deeper into the migrant crisis.
Last year, mainstream media mocked Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán when he accused Chancellor Merkel of working on a “secret deal” with Turkey aimed at flying in hundred of thousands of migrant and resetteling them across Europe. The EU leadership dismissed Orbán’s claims as “nonsense”. As it later turned out, Orbán was right about the deal all along. In March, Die Welt confirmed Merkel’s secret pact with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take in 150,000 to 200,000 migrants annually from Turkey on behalf of the EU — a deal made without consulting other EU states.
Germany’s pleas of ‘compassion’ for the ‘refugees’ are punctuated by threats of sanctions aimed at insubordinate EU member states. Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has long advocated for economic sanctions against Hungary and other EU states who do not “shoulder the burden” by opening their borders to migrants. In keeping with Merkel government’s desires, the EU has been mulling “stiff financial penalties” on countries “refusing to take their share of asylum seekers” — to use BBC’s dictum.
Following pro-EU candidate Macron’s victory in the French Presidential election last week, and an anticipated victory of either Merkel or her social-democratic challenger Martin Schulz, one could expect the EU to be even more resolute in forcing its open doors policy on reluctant, but financially poor member states.
It still remains to be seen whether Hungary and Slovakia manage to get a fair hearing at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the judicial arm of the EU. But to their credit, the governments of Hungary and Slovakia are willing to standing up against the EU diktats, “an order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent” — something one can’t say about most of the other EU member states.
‘Time for Hungary to join the Brexit Club, Mr Orbán’, UKIP leader Nigel Farage on EU migrant quota [EU Parliament; April 26, 2017]
[Cover image courtesy YouTube]
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