'Stop Soros' law violates EU rules - CJEU
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The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Hungary's "Stop Soros" legislation, criminalizing assistance to asylum-seekers whose applications the law deems inadmissible by nature of their transit through a safe third country, violates EU rules.
CJEU found that Hungary violated both the Procedures and Reception Directives of the EU by allowing applications for asylum by those arriving in Hungary through "safe transit country" to be rejected as inadmissible.
According to a report by state news wire MTI, the CJEU said, "That legislation restricts the rights enshrined in those directives since a person is suspected of having committed an offense by providing assistance...despite the criminalization of such action being contrary to EU law."
The court also found that Hungary unlawfully criminalized the activities of those who provide assistance to asylum-seekers.
"Today's court ruling sends an unequivocal message that the Hungarian government's campaign of intimidation, targeting those who stand up for the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers cannot, and will not be tolerated," Dávid Vig, director of Amnesty International Hungary, said in response to the ruling according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
"It is now time for the Hungarian government to implement the court's decision and immediately withdraw this piece of shameful legislation. We also urge the government to guarantee an environment where NGOs and activists can freely carry out their essential work without being intimidated," he added.
After the ruling was announced, Zoltán Kovács, the Hungarian government's international spokesman, acknowledged the court's decision on the law, dubbed the "Stop Soros Act", but said Hungary's position on migration "remains unchanged".
"Whereas Hungary acknowledges the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the Stop Soros Act, as it has previous judgments, we reserve the right to take action against the activities of foreign-funded NGOs, including those funded by George Soros, seeking to gain political influence and interference or even to promote migration," Kovács said.
"Hungary's position on migration remains unchanged: Help should be taken where the problem is, instead of bringing the problem here. In other words, migration to Europe must be stopped and Europe's future must be based on families," he added.
In a post on Facebook later on Tuesday, Justice Minister Judit Varga said the CJEU had disregarded the government's legal reasoning.
"But we all know that the real source of irritation for the bureaucrats in Brussels is that we recognized the support and advancement of illegal migration as a criminal act," she claimed.
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