EU to start infringement procedure over Hungary’s ‘Stop Soros’ laws

The European Commission is likely to initiate an infringement procedure against Hungary on Thursday concerning its recently passed “Stop Soros” package of laws, MTI learnt from EU officials on Wednesday.

As a first step the commission will send a letter of formal notice concerning the laws, which the body has found problematic in various ways. The Hungarian authorities will then have one or two months to respond to the concerns.

If the government’s response it not forthcoming or unsatisfactory, the commission will send a reasoned opinion as a second step and then escalate the matter to the European Court of Justice, if necessary.

The Hungarian parliament passed the contested laws in June, aimed at penalising the “promotion or organisation of illegal migration”.

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe earlier criticised some passages in the new legislation, arguing that they would seriously hinder the operation of legitimate civil groups.

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz said that “Brussels is again championing Soros” and “trying to put Hungary under pressure”.

The European Commission is “strongly influenced by the Soros network and promotes its pro-migration policy”, János Halász, Fidesz’s parliamentary spokesman, said. He argued that scrapping laws under which migrants cannot be settled in the country would “obviously” serve the interests of “the Soros network and allied Brussels politicians” who continue their efforts to “flood Europe with migrants for reasons of political and financial speculation”.

“We insist that Hungary will not be a migrant destination and we cannot accept that migrants are openly encouraged to bypass European and Hungarian laws,” Halász added.

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