In contravention of the provisions of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Hungary must let into its territory migrants who have up until now been prevented from entering by the fence and by Hungarian border guards. Our border guards have not allowed migrants to enter. Those that have managed to enter illegally have not been permitted to stay on Hungarian territory. Those who want to apply for asylum have had to submit their applications outside the territory of Hungary.
The Hungarian government turned to the Constitutional Court of Hungary with this question: What now should be done?
The Constitutional Court issued three rulings.
- It confirmed that the Government must defend our constitutional identity – even if this runs counter to the judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
- It stated that if the EU institutions are not exercising shared competencies effectively, then the Hungarian authorities may exercise them.
- It asserted that the relationship between migration and human dignity is also to be examined from the perspective of the country’s existing, historical population
This is a ruling of historic significance.
Not an easy read. At its heart is the human being and human dignity – something only rarely seen in today’s Europe.
In their defence of human dignity, international courts have followed the same path as progressive European societies in general. They have uprooted the individual from his or her natural national, linguistic, cultural, family and religious communities. They deny that belonging to such communities is part of one’s identity, and therefore a constituent of human dignity. They deny that this warrants protection within fundamental rights. Today they see only individuals who are people without attributes: they might live anywhere, speak any language, or pray to any god.
Traditional communities have been rendered utterly defenceless: they are not only opposed by political progressiveness, but also by the law. Today Europeans do not have the right to decide on those with whom they wish to live in their own country – even when mass immigration leads to the disintegration of the traditional communities that form the basis of their own identities as individuals. Ultimately, in terms of fundamental rights, Europeans today have no right to their country, their language, their culture, their family and their God.
The decision of the Constitutional Court of Hungary takes a stand against this. It takes an upended human rights system and sets it back on its feet. It is in this light that we should read what the decision says about the powers of the European Union and the sovereignty of Hungary. The Hungarian state has a duty to prevent serious violations of individuals’ identity – even if such violations come from a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union or from deficiencies in the EU’s exercise of power. The traditional social environment of people living in Hungary must not be allowed to change without a democratic mandate and oversight by the state.
A homeland only exists where rights also exist. And according to the Constitutional Court of Hungary, Hungarians have the right to their own homeland.