Home Europe EU Court Fines Hungary €200 Million Over Migrant Policy

EU Court Fines Hungary €200 Million Over Migrant Policy

Hungary Fined

Hungary must pay a €200 million fine for not changing its policies on handling migrants and asylum seekers at its border, the European Union’s top court ruled on Thursday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban called the decision “outrageous and unacceptable” in a Facebook post. Hungary’s nationalist government, which had previously refused to comply with the 2020 court ruling, now faces a daily fine of €1 million until it fully implements the required measures.

The European Court of Justice stated that Hungary failed to ensure the right of applicants for international protection to stay in Hungary while awaiting a final decision on their appeals. The court also highlighted Hungary’s failure to address the removal of illegally staying third-country nationals.

Orban’s government argues that the 2020 ruling is outdated, citing the closure of “transit zones” and stricter rules to prevent future asylum applications. Under current legislation, asylum requests can only be submitted at Hungarian embassies in neighbouring Serbia or Ukraine. Those attempting to cross the border are routinely pushed back.

Orban has often clashed with the EU on various issues, including the independence of Hungary’s judiciary and military aid to Ukraine. In 2021, Orban vowed to maintain the existing asylum seeker regime, even if the European court ordered changes.

The European Commission filed a second application to the court in early 2022, arguing that Hungary had not taken the necessary steps to comply with the 2020 judgement. The court’s verdict described Hungary’s failure as a deliberate avoidance of a common EU policy, constituting a serious infringement of EU law.

With Inputs From Reuters