EU launches infringement procedure against Hungary over refugee rules

By bne IntelliNews December 10, 2015

The European Commission opened an infringement procedure against Hungary on December 10, saying the country's recently adopted asylum legislation breaches the bloc’s rules.

The move comes less than a month after the commission launched an infringement procedure, as well as a seperate indepth probe, over Hungary's deal with Russia on the expansion of the Paks nuclear plant. In similar vein, the new procedure comes as no surprise; Brussels had already expressed concern over the asylum rules Budapest introduced earlier this year.

Building fences along its southern borders and introducing tough asylum laws that make illegal border crossings a criminal offense punishable by a prison term, has been the response of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the migrant crisis. Hungary launched a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice on December 3 against the EU's migrant quotas.

The EU executive is not satisfied with the response from Hungarian authorities regarding its concerns over the new legislation. In particular, the commission expressed concern that Hungary does not suspend decisions in case of appeals, forcing people to leave its territory, in contravention to EU rules.

Moreover, the “Hungarian law on fast-tracked criminal proceedings for irregular border crossings does not respect provisions of the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings”, the commission says.

“As a consequence of these concerns, the commission has today initiated an infringement procedure and sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary. The Hungarian authorities have two months to respond to the commission,” the EU executive said.


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