PM Orbán: National and cultural identity is a human right

By John Cody
5 Min Read

In the latest edition of his so-called “Samizdat” series (a genre referring to literature banned during Communism, and circulated in secret), Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán reacts to the decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, in which it returns powers to the hands of the authorities to control or prevent the flow of illegal migration through their borders.

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that the detention of migrants in so-called transit zones on the southern borders of Hungary was illegal, and it violated their human rights. Additionally, according to the court, the authorities are obliged to start asylum proceedings with each illegal entrant, instead of turning them back to safe countries that they arrived from.

Orbán reiterates in his Samizdat that the meaning of the EU court’s decision is just precisely this: Hungary has to admit all migrants into the country who have been detained by its border guards while crossing illegally. This, he states, is contrary to his country’s Basic Law. For this reason, the government had asked the Constitutional Court to advise on the matter. In the prime minister’s interpretation, the court came back with three distinct decisions in the matter:

1. It reaffirmed that the government must protect the country’s constitutional identity, even if this is contrary to the ruling of the European Court of Justice.

2. It stated that if the shared competences between the EU and Hungary were not effectively exercised or enforced by the Union’s institutions, the Hungarian authorities could exercise them.

3. It also stated that the relationship between migration and human dignity should also be examined from the point of view of the indigenous populations.

Orbán calls this in his Samizdat a “decision of historical significance.”

He believes the ruling of Hungary’s top court puts people and human dignity at its center, something now seldom seen in European court decisions. In the prime minister’s opinion, under the guise of protecting human dignity, international courts have followed the same path as the societies of a progressive Europe in general. The individual was torn from his or her natural national, linguistic, cultural, and religious communities, as well as from his or her families. These courts have denied that belonging to such communities is part of one’s self-identity and thus of human dignity in general. They deny that this identity deserves fundamental protection.

“Today, there are only individuals who are people without qualities: they can live anywhere, they can speak any language, they can pray to any god,” wrote Orbán.

In the Hungarian prime minister’s assessment, traditional communities have become completely defenseless. Today, it is not only progressive politics that is against them, but also the law. Europeans have thus no right to decide who they want to live with in their own homelands — even if mass immigration leads to the disintegration of the traditional communities that underpin their individual identities.

As a result, in the sense of fundamental rights, Europeans today have no right to their own homelands, their language, their culture, their family, and their God.

The decision of the Hungarian Constitutional Court takes the opposite view. It restores the human rights system from head to toe. It confirms that the Hungarian state has a duty to prevent significant harm to citizens’ identity, even if this contradicts rulings by the European Court of Justice or if this were to develop as a consequence of the EU failing to exercise its competencies.

The traditional social environment of those living in Hungary cannot change without democratic authority and state control, writes Orbán.

“Home is only where people’s rights are upheld,” writes the prime minister. According to the Constitutional Court, Hungarians have the right to their own country, concludes the Samizdat.

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