22 December 2020
The Court of Justice of the EU has ruled that Hungary's actions in the field of migration and asylum are against the law.
"In particular, restricting access to the international protection procedure, unlawfully detaining applicants for that protection in transit zones and moving illegally staying third-country nationals to a border area, without observing the guarantees surrounding a return procedure, constitute infringements of EU law," says the CJEU's press release.
See: Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law in the area of procedures for granting international protection and returning illegally staying third-country nationals (press release, pdf)
It remains unclear what steps the Hungarian government - which has taken a consistently hardline approach to the arrival of refugees and migrants - will take in response.
The case also has implications for the actions of EU border agency Frontex, which has an operation at the Hungarian-Serbian border. According to the 2019 Regulation governing the agency:
"The executive director shall, after consulting the fundamental rights officer and informing the Member State concerned, withdraw the financing for any activity by the Agency, or suspend or terminate any activity by the Agency, in whole or in part, if he or she considers that there are violations of fundamental rights or international protection obligations related to the activity concerned that are of a serious nature or are likely to persist."
The findings of the court indicate that Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex - already under fire for the agency's alleged involvement in pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish border - is now obliged to do as the law says.
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