Constitutional Court verdict: Hungarian laws on migration take precedence over Brussels regulations

The Hungarian Constitutional Court has made an important decision on migration today. Before our critics try to spin this story, let’s get something clear: This decision is only about immigration. The majority of Hungarian people support EU membership, and Hungary remains a committed member of the European Union.

Today's ruling of the Constitutional Court, however, found that the Hungarian Fundamental Law and Hungarian immigration laws must take precedence over Brussels’ migration regulations. With this ruling, the Constitutional Court has erected a strong legal basis upon which we may continue to defend the physical barrier on our southern borders.

The judgment handed down today comes as a response to an appeal we made recently to the Constitutional Court on immigration: We asked them what to do when the will of the Hungarian people clashes with Brussels’ migration rules.

This dispute began when, at the request of the Brussels bureaucracy, the European Court of Justice condemned Hungary for sending migrants to the transit zone and not allowing them to enter Hungary. According to Brussels, migrants have the right to enter and stay in Hungary, even if they come from a safe country and their asylum applications have not yet been examined by the Hungarian authorities.

In compliance with the ECJ’s ruling, Hungary has abolished transit zones. However, we still do not automatically admit migrants but request that they submit their asylum applications at Hungarian embassies in neighboring countries. After all, our neighbors are considered safe countries, with no imminent threat to migrants. Brussels is not happy about this either and continues to threaten Hungary with fines and penalties.

Some might recall that there was a referendum in Hungary in 2016. In that referendum and in the subsequent parliamentary elections, the citizens of Hungary made it clear that they do not support Brussels' immigration policy. Hungarians reject forced immigration, and I would hope that even our critics agree that Hungarian laws must be based on decisions made by Hungarian people.

In fact, this debate has also highlighted the need to change the EU’s immigration rules. These rules were made in peacetime when there was no mass migration and no migration crisis. Today, however, there is a migration crisis. We see it on the Polish border, but we are also experiencing it on our own southern border, which is an external border of Europe’s Schengen Area.

A growing number of migrants are arriving once again at our borders and trying to enter our country illicitly. Between January and November 2021, the Hungarian authorities apprehended 100,000 illegal border-crossers, compared to 30,000 in the same period last year, a more than threefold increase.

The fact is, migration pressure is not expected to ease in the near future. On the contrary, another major migration crisis looms large. Europe must protect its external borders, and time has proven that only physical barriers can effectively protect European citizens from the mass influx of illegal migrants.

In this context, it should come as no surprise that the Hungarian Constitutional Court finds that our country’s own laws do take precedence over Brussels’ mandates, providing a solid legal basis upon which we can continue to protect Hungary and all of Europe.