FM Szijjártó: “Politics has inflicted violence on European law and values”

Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó reacted to today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice rejecting Hungary’s and Slovakia’s challenge to the EU’s migrant resettlement scheme, calling the decision “outrageous and irresponsible.”

“This is not legal or professional, but the result of a political decision,” said Minister Szijjártó. “In other words: politics has inflicted violence on European law and values.” Today’s ruling, according to the minister, puts the future and security of Europe in jeopardy and is contrary to European – thus Hungarian – interests.

Earlier this morning, the Luxembourg-based court, which serves as the EU’s top judicial body, dismissed the challenge brought by Hungary and Slovakia to the legality of the EU’s compulsory migrant resettlement scheme. In a unanimous decision, the court said that “the mechanism efficiently contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate”.

“The real battle is about to begin,” said Minister Szijjártó during his joint press conference with Minister of Justice László Trócsányi. The foreign minister vowed that the Hungarian Government will exhaust all legal remedies to guarantee that “not a single person is resettled in Hungary against the will of the Hungarian people”.

“The European Commission supports one thing: illegal immigration, but not border protection and defense,” said Szijjártó. Hungary, the minister continued, “will continue to meet its responsibilities under the Schengen Agreement, and by so doing, we also protect Austria and Germany."

“[H]ad the [2015] decision been a legislative act,” said Minister Trócsányi, “national parliaments should have been consulted. Yet, the governments were by-passed under the veil of a provisional measure.” The court’s ruling lacks convincing argument and seems, Minister Trócsányi said, to be intended to reinforce the “European mainstream.”

“This ruling asserts the European Commission’s authority over the member states,” said Szijjártó. “This is unacceptable and we will do whatever it takes to protect our country.”

Hungary and Slovakia – strongly supported by Poland – filed a joint case challenging the obligatory migrant resettlement scheme in 2015 claiming that it was unlawful and impossible to put into practice. The 2015 European Council decision called for the re-distribution of some 120,000 illegal migrants among all member states.