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Some EU Member States Question The Legality Of Mandatory Migrant Quotas

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{source: HUgov/Ministry of Justice}


Action to be filed in case of mandatory quotas may serve as precedent




17 November 2015

Legal action serving as a precedent may be launched if Parliament authorizes the Government on Tuesday to make preparations for the lawsuit to be filed with the European Court of Justice against the mandatory quotas relating to the distribution of refugees, the Justice Minister said at his press conference in Budapest.

The Hungarian Minister pointed out: the petition may be filed in December. He took the view that the decision on the mandatory quotas is an “imposed norm” as it has no wider social support, the majority of Europe’s population do not agree with it, and consequently, it is lacking in social legitimacy. Additionally, doubts have emerged also concerning its legitimacy from a legal point of view, given that the decision contains multiple legal errors, he explained.

The Minister highlighted: it is unclear whether the document approved with respect to the mandatory quotas is legitimate as from a content viewpoint it is a legal act qualifying as a statutory amendment, given that it is a regulation for the Member States as to how they should proceed and whom they should take in. At the same time, from a formal viewpoint, the document is described as a resolution in order not to have to observe the procedural requirements applicable to legal acts, and this is why national parliaments have not even been asked, he pointed out.

László Trócsányi took the view that the decision must be assessed on the basis of its content, rather than its description; this is what the legal practice of the European Court of Justice, too, calls for.

The Minister remarked: a resolution usually represents an urgent, temporary measure which is adopted in someone’s interest; however, it cannot have been conceived in the interest of either Hungary, or the other countries. It may have been adopted at most in the interest of Italy and Greece, but it is not the EU that comes to their aid in this case, but other Member States may be obliged to do so.

Mr Trócsányi stressed: no obligations can be imposed on Hungary and other Member States against their will. The quotas were formerly a voluntary issue, and Hungary supported this approach, he reiterated.

As he said, Slovakia, too, is preparing to take similar action to Hungary, and they hope that other countries, too, will intervene in the legal action on the side of Hungary. If the EU expects the Member States to comply with its norms, the EU and its institutions, too, must do so, he said.

He remarked: the implementation of the resolution on the quotas is still in its infancy, and the Member States are not in a hurry to apply its terms.

The quotas do not work in practice; they are merely compensatory.

The Minister said: they will explore whether there is scope for instituting urgent proceedings as, in that case, a decision may be adopted within a relatively short time, but with great probability, no decision will be reached during this term of government. It is to be hoped that special significance will be attached to the issue by the court, he added.

Mr Trócsányi took the view that while the Member States delegated some of the powers stemming from their sovereignty upon accession to the EU, they did not resign the essence of their statehood, sovereignty and independence. At the same time, based on international law, as to whom a State allows into its territory depends on the decision of the given State, and a binding decision relating to this issue breaches sovereignty, he explained.

The Minister pointed out in the context of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week: there were multiple earlier attacks which should have started Europe’s population thinking. The reasons as to why this incident may have occurred, and why what happened happened in France out of all places must be analysed.

The terrorist forces are interested in the maintenance of chaos, he added.

He further highlighted: we must pay attention to the national security risks inherent in migration, and it is also important how Europe is able to defend itself against terrorist attacks.


[photo credits: By SV [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]



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