Szijjártó: ECJ decision has ‘raped European law‘

EU

"Irresponsible" and "outrageous" were among the words used by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in response to the Wednesday decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) to dismiss requests by Hungary and Slovakia to annul a decision by the Council of the European Union on the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers.

Hungary and Slovakia filed their request to the ECJ arguing that the decision regarding mandatory relocation of refugees was not adopted in accordance with rules on legislative procedures.

In a statement released on Wednesday after the decision, the ECJsaid the Councilʼs decision was adopted on the basis of an article in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that contains no express reference to a legislative procedure, therefore the decision is a non-legislative act.

Article 78(3) of the TFEU "enables the EU institutions to adopt all the provisional measures necessary to respond effectively and swiftly to an emergency situation characterized by a sudden inflow of displaced persons," the court said. "Since the decision is a non-legislative act, its adoption was not subject to the requirements relating to the participation of national Parliaments and to the public nature of the deliberations and vote in the Council," the court explained.

The court added that the mandatory relocation mechanism "contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate."

The Council decision, taken in response to the migration crisis in the summer of 2015, provided for the relocation from Italy and Greece of 120,000 people "in clear need of international protection" to other EU member states over a period of two years.

Under the refugee relocation plan, Hungary was called upon to accept 1,294 refugees from other member states.

Hungaryʼs defiant response

Shortly after the ruling of the ECJ, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó reacted by saying that it is "outrageous and irresponsible," and "endangers the future and security of Europe as a whole, and is contrary to the interests of European nations, and thus those of the Hungarian nation."

Szijjártó argued that the courtʼs decision was a political, not a legal or professional decision.

"Politics has raped European law," the minister said, adding that the Hungarian government considers the decision "unacceptable" and will not comply.

"The real fight is just beginning," Szijjártó warned, insisting that Hungary would use "every possible legal remedy" to ensure that no one can be settled in the country "against the will of the Hungarian people."

Also speaking at the press conference Wednesday, Minister of Justice László Trócsányi said that it was regrettable that the court had ignored Hungaryʼs "legally well-founded arguments" and decided that fundamental provisions of EU law could be set aside.

According to Trócsányi, the decision has upset the balance of EU institutions, with the European Commission coming out as winner,  while the powers of the European Council and Parliament have been diminished.

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