“Hungary and Poland understand against EU law”

It was no surprise: the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has once again condemned Poland and Hungary for their practices that are questionable under the rule of law.

The ECJ judges in Luxembourg agreed: The criminalization of refugee workers in Hungary is illegal. A corresponding law by the right-wing national government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban violates EU law, according to the ruling.

In 2018, the country issued special regulations against asylum seekers and refugee workers, known as “Stop Soros”. The US billionaire George Soros, who comes from Hungary, supports Hungarian aid organizations with a foundation, and the Hungarian government mandates him to bring large numbers of Muslim immigrants to Europe. Since then, the route taken by migrants has been crucial – asylum applications from refugees who entered via a safe third country are simply rejected as inadmissible. This contradicts European law, say the top EU judges. Above all, however, they are disturbed by another regulation in the “Stop Soros” law: that aid organizations in Hungary are also punished if they assist people who cannot get asylum under Hungarian law.

“Political Control in Poland”

The proceedings against Poland were once again about the controversial judicial system. It is against EU law that the Justice Minister, who is also the Public Prosecutor General, can delegate judges to higher criminal courts and terminate such a delegation at any time, the ECJ judges ruled. According to the ECJ, the rule means that the judges do not have the guarantees and independence for the duration of the secondment that a judge in a constitutional state would normally have. According to the judgment, it cannot be ruled out that the regulation will be used as an instrument for political control of the content of judicial decisions.

There are still no concrete legal consequences for the two judgments. At first it is simply established that both countries have violated European law. If the EU Commission observes that Poland and Hungary ignore the judges’ rulings, it could initiate new proceedings before the ECJ, which could then result in fines.

No giving in

For Poland this would mean new painful burdens, as the country already has to pay one and a half million euros a day because it has ignored further decisions by the EU’s highest court. Once again, the national-conservative PiS government in Warsaw and especially Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro signaled no relenting.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *