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Commission Refers Hungary to Court of Justice Over Its Failure to Comply With EU Rules on Asylum & Return

The EU Commission has referred Hungary to the Court of Justice after the country failed to respond to the bloc’s persistent requests to harmonize its immigration laws with EU rules on asylum and return.

In the November 2021 Breach Decisions Package, through which the Commission takes legal action against member states that fail to comply with their obligations under EU law, Hungary was referred to the Court of Justice after failing to comply with the previous requests of the commission.

“The European Commission has decided today to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union, and has asked the Court to order the payment of monetary fines for Hungary’s failure to comply with the Court’s ruling regarding the EU’s rules on asylum and return,” reads a press release on the case.

The case dates back to 2015 and 2017 when Hungary adopted EU laws on the right to asylum and the return of non-EU citizens who do not have the right to remain in the EU, as a result of which transit zones were created. On the Serbian-Hungarian border.

The Hungarian authorities then began to avoid applying some of the rules set forth in the asylum procedure, reception conditions and return directives, claiming that they maintain public order and maintain internal security.

Now, the Commission wants the Court of Justice to order Hungary to pay financial fines for non-compliance with EU law.

“In light of the continued non-compliance with the Court’s ruling, on June 9, 2021, the Commission sent Hungary a letter of formal notification under Article 260(2) TFEU. Today, the Commission is requesting the Court to impose financial penalties in the form of a lump sum and a daily fine,” the package further explains Consider the case.

The same allegations are that Hungary has failed to take the necessary measures to ensure that asylum seekers have effective access to the asylum procedure. It also failed to clarify the conditions regarding the rights of asylum seekers to remain in the country’s territory when appealing the decision.

In December 2020, the Commission sent a letter of formal notification to Hungary regarding the non-conformity of a provision in the Hungarian asylum law with the EU’s public procurement rules (Directive 2014/24/EU), calling on the government to correct the failure as quickly as possible.

Later, in February 2021, the last warning was sent to Hungary to comply with EU asylum law before the Commission took the case to the European Court of Justice.

At the time, a report by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) highlighting differences between EU member states on border procedures for asylum seekers indicated that Hungary was among the countries not using border procedures, along with Cyprus, Bulgaria and Denmark. Finland, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Slovakia.

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