Infringement procedure against Hungary over criminalisation of activities in support of asylum and residence applications

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Publication Date 2018-2019
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Reports and information relating to the infringement procedure launched by the European Commission against Hungary over the country's so-called 'Stop Soros' legislation - which criminalises activities that support asylum and residence applications and further restricts the right to request asylum.

Further information:

The criminalisation of activity conducted by people or groups in support of illegal migrants was adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 20 June 2018. The law became known as the 'Stop Soros' legislation, due to the understanding that much of those rules targeted organisations supported by George Soros.

The European Commission decided on 19 July 2018 to launch an infringement procedure against Hungarian over this law by sending a Letter of Formal Notice. The decision was a result of concerns as regards its compatibility with EU law, in particular when it comes to the application of the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive. This law was also considered to restrict the exercise of free movement rights of EU citizens without due regard for procedural guarantees or for the rights of the people affected.

In view of the unsatisfactory response, the Commission followed-up with a reasoned opinion on 24 January 2019. After analysing the Hungarian authorities' reply, the Commission considered that the majority of the concerns raised had still not been addressed. On 25 July, the Commission announced the referral of Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) over the 'Stop Soros' legislation.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Amnesty International: News, 25/07/2019: Hungary: EU action shows ‘intimidation campaign’ against those defending asylum-seekers will not be tolerated

Deutsche Welle, 19/07/2018: European Commission refers Hungary to ECJ for defying EU asylum laws
BBC News, 19/07/2018: Hungary pursued by EU over 'Stop Soros' migrant law
Euronews, 19/07/2018: EU steps up battle with Hungary over migration and asylum
Politico, 19/07/2018: Commission takes Hungary to court over treatment of asylum seekers
The Guardian, 19/07/2018: Brussels opens legal proceedings over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' law
EurActiv, 20/07/2018: EU raps Hungary for ‘Stop Soros’ law, steps up legal battle
Deutsche Welle, 25/07/2019: EU takes Hungary to court over asylum helper law
Euronews, 25/07/2019: Brussels takes Hungary to EU top court 'for criminalising activities that help asylum seekers'
EurActiv, 25/07/2019: EU takes Hungary to court over ‘Stop Soros’ migrant law
Reuters, 25/07/2019: EU takes Hungary to court for criminalising help for asylum seekers
Politico, 25/07/2019: Commission takes Hungary to court after clampdown on asylum seekers
EUObserver, 25/07/2019: EU targets Hungary for denying food to migrants
The Independent, 26/07/2019: EU takes Hungary's far-right government to court for making it illegal to help asylum seekers

European Commission: Press Release, 19/07/2018: Migration and Asylum: Commission takes further steps in infringement procedures against Hungary
European Commission: Press Release, 24/01/2019: Asylum: Commission takes next step in infringement procedure against Hungary for criminalising activities in support of asylum applicants
European Commission: Press Release, 25/07/2019: Commission takes Hungary to Court for criminalising activities in support of asylum seekers and opens new infringement for non-provision of food in transit zones

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