The outgoing European Commission still insists on moving migrants to Hungary but the government maintains that Hungary does not want either a permanent or a one-off mandatory quota, state secretary of justice Pál Volner said on Thursday.
In an opinion published on Thursday, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Eleanor Sharpston said that the CJEU “should rule that, by refusing to comply with the provisional and time-limited mechanism for the mandatory relocation of applicants for international protection, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfil their obligations under EU law.”
In response to Sharpston’s opinion, Volner told MTI that the EC had brought action against Hungary because the country refused to fulfil “the one-time mandatory quota forced through by stealth” in 2015 which would have made the country receive 1,294 migrants.
Hungary turned to the CJEU, disputing the legality of the quota ruling and rejecting the double standards demonstrated by the EC when it launched infringement procedures against three member states, including Hungary, despite the fact that several other states had failed to fulfil the quota measure, Volner said. The CJEU rejected Hungary’s and Slovakia’s legal actions in September 2017, he added.
The Hungarian government “has certainly not moved in migrants ever since because the deadline for the implementation of the quota ruling expired and its execution cannot be forced through with retroactive effect,” he said.
Despite this, the EC has taken Hungary to court and the advocate general’s opinion is a new development in the case. However, the opinion does not officially oblige the CJEU to follow through, he added.
A final decision is expected in the first half of 2020 and “the Hungarian government will continue its fight to enforce the will of Hungarians,” he said.