“The Government has drawn-up its responses to the issues raised by the European Commission (EC) with relation to the ‘Stop Soros’ legislative package and the infringement proceedings launched with reference to the related constitutional amendment”, the Ministry of Justice’s Parliamentary State Secretary Pál Völner said at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

The EC launched infringement proceedings against Hungary because of the “Stop Soros” legislative package and the related constitutional amendment in July, in view of the fact that according to the body’s experts there are serious concerns with relation to whether these are compatible with EU law. The Government had two months to reply to the concerns.

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Mr. Völner told the press that the Government had sent the reply to the Commission on Wednesday. As he explained, the essence of the response is that the restrictions included in the “Stop Soros” package and the constitutional amendment that bans the admittance of migrants will not be rescinded. The Cabinet is critical of the fact that the EC continues to occupy an openly pro-immigration position instead of performing its role as protector of the law. It is also critical of the fact that the body is performing political activities and attacking immigration policy measures that facilitate border protection, the latest element of which is that they eventually want to remove member states’ right to protect their own borders via the EU’s border agency, Frontex.

The State Secretary noted that following the adoption of the “Stop Soros” package and the constitutional amendment, the “main body of the Soros network”, the Open Society Foundation turned to the European Commission, which launched the infringement proceedings against Hungary within just four weeks. According to Mr. Völner this is “martial rapidity” compared to previous practice.

The politician also spoke about the fact that the Hungarian response is expected to prove insufficient for the Commission, and it will therefore most likely be sending a so-called justified opinion.

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Mr. Völner was asked with relation to the fact that the EB said in a statement: during the reinforcement of border protection Frontex would perform its duties according to local regulations and in cooperation with local law enforcement bodies, and would have no right to take action or make decisions. In response, the State Secretary said people from Frontex are already present in Hungary as observers, and that over the past three years no complaint has been made with relation to the work of the Hungarian border protection authorities. “If the European Commission wants to take over border protection, the reason is that ‘they want to interpret the regulations differently’ and establish a ‘reception service’ that would have the power to decide who can enter the country and who cannot”, he declared. “Based on the experience of the past three years, officials from the EU interpret the issue of border protection much more liberally, in view of the fact that they have allowed hundreds of thousands of people into Europe without any kind of identification”, the State Secretary highlighted. “This is an extremely bad precedent for us to trust them”, he noted.

“Member states that do not have suitable border protection, such as Italy and Greece, may make use of Frontex’s assistance, but there is no need to force the agency on countries that can handle it themselves”, he declared.

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The State Secretary was also asked with relation to the revision of the Constitution, with relation to which he said the move would be preceded by detailed preparatory work.

In reply to a question, Mr. Völner told reporters that Hungary has two months from the adoption of the Sargentini Report to go to court, and the related legal arguments are already being compiled.