Following a meeting of the Committee on Justice Affairs, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice Pál Völner announced that the first hearing in Luxembourg on the legal challenge to the mandatory relocation quota is expected to be held at the end of this year.

Earlier Mr. Völner briefed the Committee on the decisions recently made by the European Union in connection with the mandatory quotas on relocating migrants.

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He added that the Court’s decision could be passed in the second quarter of next year. He also said that he hopes that when coming to a decision the judicial body will take into consideration the ten points which encapsulate the Hungarian government’s objections to the quota on questions of substance and procedure.

The original decision – which Hungary voted against – was adopted on 22 September 2015 by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU; it ordered the mandatory distribution across the EU of 160,000 refugees, with 120,000 of them to be relocated on the basis of mandatory quotas. The decision – which was passed with a qualified majority – stated that Hungary should take in 1,294 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

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Mr. Völner said that Hungary had filed its action at the Court of Justice of the European Union in December. Poland entered the lawsuit on the side of Hungary as the plaintiff, and Slovakia filed a separate action of its own. Italy and Greece are the defendants, and Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Sweden have entered the case on their side.

The State Secretary summarised the EU decisions which in his opinion suggest that a temporary relocation mechanism within the EU would be transformed into a permanent relocation mechanism, with no upper limit whatsoever on numbers. He stressed that the Government opposes these intentions, and Hungary continues to stress the importance of protecting Europe’s external borders and combating criminal groups. Furthermore, Hungary supports every measure which would promote the local management of illegal immigration.

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Mr. Völner referred to the Commission’s proposal to impose a fine – of EUR 250,000 per migrant refused entry – on those Member States which refuse to take part in an automatic mechanism without an upper limit on numbers. He added that this amount is rather curious, bearing in mind the fact that the plan includes a per capita subsidy of EUR 6,000 for relocation costs related to each of the 120,000 individuals; for the permanent relocation mechanism this amount would be EUR 10,000 per capita. He concluded that EUR 250,000 does not represent temporary or procedural costs, but rather the full cost of individuals’ integration into society, which is a demand which goes far beyond the competences transferred to Brussels.

Mr. Völner also said that it is now obvious that the Commission is continuously attempting to usurp Member States’ shared competences and to reduce their sovereignty, but Hungary will not consent to this.