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Here’s What It Means Constitutional Court Has Ruled “EU Cannot Violate Hungary’s Sovereignty”

Tamás Székely 2016.12.05.

In its ruling on EU migrant quotas last Wednesday, Hungary’s Constitutional Court, similarly to several other Constitutional Courts in the EU, stipulated that it has the right to study any EU legislation including the mandatory distribution of migrants in the EU in order to protect basic human rights, Hungary’s sovereignty and constitutional identity.

The ruling was interpreted by the Hungarian government as an indication that even without the amendment of the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court considers that it has the right to strike down the planned EU migrant quota system if this violates Hungary’s sovereignty. Others, however, pointed out that the Constitutional Court’s verdict does not imply that the planned mandatory EU migrant quota violates the Hungarian Fundamental Law. The Court will only discuss this specific issue after the European Court of Justice rules in the case submitted by the Hungarian government in December 2015 against the first EU decision on migrant relocation.

Cabinet Chief János Lázár said at a Thursday press conference that the top court’s position was clear: protecting sovereignty has primacy over the practice of common EU laws, since the latter cannot equate to restricting the people through its controls. “Brussels cannot violate the country’s sovereignty and it cannot harm its constitutional identity”, Lázár insisted. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday that the court’s ruling would be of “huge help” to him in his “battle with Brussels” on migration. “We can now finally forget that the opposition had chosen to side with Brussels … because now we’ve managed to bypass them,” he said. “The Constitutional Court made it clear that based on the constitution, the government has a right and obligation to protect the country’s national and constitutional identity and basic interests. This means that the cabinet cannot support any EU decision that violates Hungary’s sovereignty. Nobody but we can decide whom we should live together with,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the “top court’s decision was good news for those who did not want Hungary to be occupied.”

In conservative daily Magyar Nemzet, Mariann Kiss argues that in light of the Constitutional Court’s decision, the government’s quota referendum was a completely unnecessary exercise. As the current Fundamental Law allows the Constitutional Court to investigate and reject any EU regulation if it violates basic rights or Hungary’s constitutional identity, the conservative analyst contends, the quota referendum was merely a tool for the government to generate anti-immigrant hysteria and divert attention from other public issues.

via budapost.eu