Hungary slapped with €200 million fine by EU's top court for blocking migrants

The ECJ ruled that Hungary failed to comply with a 2020 judgment on the illegal detention and deportation of asylum seekers.

Hungary slapped with €200 million fine by EU's top court for blocking migrants
Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP
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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has imposed a fine on Hungary for failing to adhere to a 2020 ruling that found the country's policies blocking migrants at its border to be illegal. The decision has elicited a strong response from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who labeled the fine as "outrageous and unacceptable" on X.

In a post on X, Orbán wrote, "The ECJ's decision to fine Hungary with 200M euros plus 1m euros daily for defending the borders of the European Union is outrageous and unacceptable. It seems that illegal migrants are more important to the Brussels bureaucrats than their own European citizens," Remix News reports.

The ECJ's ruling, published on X, cited Hungary's "failure to comply with the Court of Justice's judgment of 17 December 2020." In the initial 2020 ruling, the court determined that Hungary had unlawfully detained and blocked migrants from entering its territory, and had illegally held asylum seekers at the Röszke transit zone on Serbian territory, effectively allowing their deportation before they could appeal the rejection of their asylum applications.

The court's decision comes amid growing discontent among Europeans regarding mass immigration. A recent poll revealed that 7 out of 10 Europeans believe their country accepts too many migrants, with only 39 percent of respondents stating that Europe "needs immigration today."

The original case, which led to the 2020 ruling, was backed by a non-governmental organization (NGO) funded by billionaire George Soros. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee represented two Iranian and two Afghani nationals who were stuck in the Röszke transit zone and had their asylum cases refused by Hungarian authorities on the grounds that they had arrived from Serbia, which is considered a safe country.

Hungary has maintained that migrants cannot apply for asylum on Hungarian territory and must instead do so at a Hungarian embassy in neighboring countries. The government contends that asylum applicants have no right to enter Hungary, as they pass through several safe countries on their way to the nation.

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