Hungary launches lawsuit against EU migrant quotas

By bne IntelliNews December 3, 2015

Hungary has launched a lawsuit against the EU's migrant quotas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced on December 3. The move comes just a day after Slovakia – another staunch opponent of decision to redistribute 160,000 refugess across the bloc – launched its own legal challenge at the European Court of Justice.

"Hungary is today filing a challenge to the European Court against the EU's decision regarding mandatory quotas for the distribution of migrants," Orban said in a speech in Budapest, according to AFP. "It is not enough to protest, action must be taken," he added.

Orban's government has conducted a bitter campaign against the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in the EU from war torn spots such as Syria and Afghanistan throughout the year. It has raised the impetus since the summer, when Hungary found itself on the frontline of the developing migrant crisis as tens of thousands the country's external Schengen border headed for Germany  and other northern European countries.

Since the attacks in Paris in November, Orban has been busy insisting the migrant quotas would spread terrorism across Europe. Like his peer Robert Fico in Slovakia, the Hungarian PM has seen his domestic political support rising steadily on the back of his confrontational approach to the EU's policy. However, the pair has also faced harsh criticism in the international arena.

Regardless, the parliament in Budapest passed a bill on November 17 paving the way for legal action against the EU motion, which was passed by the Council of Europe via a rare majority vote in September. Hungary and Slovakia were joined by the Czech Republic and Romania as the only state's to vote against the plan, which was pushed heavily by Germany. Under the quota system, the two countries are expected to accept around 2,300 migrants each.

Meanwhile, Budapest has launched another, less formal, front in the battle. The government is sponsoring an alarmist media campaign in Hungary designed to rally populist support for the fight against the EU, and therefore the ruling Fidesz party.

National newspapers feature ads screaming: "The quota increases the terror threat!" AFP reports. "An illegal immigrant arrives in Europe on average every 12 seconds," the full page spread continues. "We don't know who they are, or what their intentions are; We don't know how many hidden terrorists are among them," In an echo of other anti-immigration adverts posted around the country earlier this year, billboards bearing the slogan: "Let's defend the country" will go up in the coming days.

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