“The European Court of justice made a political and irresponsible decision on the mechanism to distribute asylum-seekers amongst EU member states, and Hungary will use all possible legal means to fight against the ruling”, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog declared in an interview for German national public radio Deutschlandfunk.

The decision shows that “The European Court of Justice has been abused for political reasons”, the Minister stressed, adding that the ruling may be legally binding, but does not force Hungary or Slovakia to implement any new measures. We should instead talk about “really important things”, such as the fact that the “hypocrisy” displayed in “mainstream” European politics and the press with regard to solidarity and with relation to the Court’s ruling is poisoning the atmosphere between EU member states, Mr. Balog said.

In reply to a question on whether Hungary’s membership of the EU can be maintained, the Minister declared: “Hungary is committed to the EU, but Brussels’ immigration policy and the reduction of national spheres of competence is damaging member states and damaging Europe. “The importance of the issue is indicated by the fact that Great Britain is leaving the community because it does not want to be a part of the current EU”, Mr. Balog said.

He severely criticised Brussels with relation to this, highlighting the fact that instead of performing its duties, the European Commission is performing political activities and is acting in opposition to the will of elected EU bodies.

Hungary will continue to be a member of the European Union because “it is a European country and will always remain so”, and because “it wants a better EU”, the Minister emphasised. With the regard to the possible reduction of EU funding, Mr. Balog declared that Hungary had opened its markets, in exchange for which it is receiving funding to enable it to close the gap that was brought about during forty years of communist dictatorship. “An agreement was signed with regard to this and ideas such as ‘if something happens and you don’t support us then we will take back some of that money’ are completely out of the question”, he stressed.

The treaties must be upheld, and linking the question of EU funding to the migration crisis is “simple hypocrisy”, the Minister said, stressing that Hungary was the only EU member state to have continued to fulfil the requirements of both the Schengen Agreement and the Dublin Regulations after 2015. “The construction of the border security fence was also required to enable Hungary to act in accordance with the principles of the rule of law”, he added.

“Other member states did not act accordingly”, Mr. Balog said, adding that it would be worth debating “whether the other countries showed solidarity and who showed solidarity towards whom”. The Hungarian and Slovakian governments turned to the European Court of Justice in 2015 with regard to the mandatory mechanism aimed at the resettlement of 120 thousand asylum-seekers, which the Council of EU Interior Ministers had adopted two months earlier with a qualified majority vote despite the objections of several EU member states, including Hungary and Slovakia. The Luxembourg-based court rejected the plea in its ruling, which was issued on Wednesday.