EU opens infringement procedure against Hungary over asylum laws

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The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, announced late last week that it had opened infringement proceedings against Hungary for its supposed violation of EU asylum law.

On Friday, Brussels sent a formal notice to the Hungarian government which claims that the new asylum procedures adopted by Budapest in response to the COVID-19 pandemic “are contrary to Union law”.

According to the new asylum procedures, which were introduced by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government in May, non-EU nationals who wish to apply for asylum in Hungary must first do so at a Hungarian Embassy outside the EU and be granted a special entry permit.  

The executive branch of the European Union “considers that this rule is an unlawful restriction to access to the asylum procedure as it precludes persons who are on Hungary’s territory, including at the border, from applying for international protection there.”

The infringement procedure announced last week is the fifth against the Hungary on the subject of asylum since 2015, according to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a left-wing non-government organization. Last spring, the NGO claimed that the government’s new asylum regulations were a “heinous violation” of European law.

Responding to the European executive’s announcement, Nicolas Bay, French MEP and General Secretary of the National Rally party, referred to the EU’s infringement case against Hungary, writing on Facebook, “While migration laxity appears to be the number one cause of the Nice Islamist attack, the Commission decides to tackle one of the few European countries that is firm on immigration and protects its people!”

The French MEP also posted an image to social media of the migration route taken by the Tunisian suspect in the Nice church terrorist attack. Along with the image, Bay wrote: “Here is the course of the Nice Terrorist. Checking borders is not an identity retreat. Checking borders could have saved the life of Vincent, Simone, and a 70-year-old woman.”

As Remix News reported last week, 21-year-old Brahim Aouissaou, the Islamic terrorist who murdered three parishioners inside the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption basilica in Nice, had illegally arrived by boat to the Italian island of Lampedusa in September before making his way to France. 

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