20 December 2020
Top EU Court has said that Hungary has broken EU laws on protecting vulnerable migrants and refugees by denying them a right to apply for asylum and forcibly deporting people to the Serbian border. Serbia is not a member of the EU.
During the migration crisis in 2015 millions of people fled the Middle East and North Africa for Europe. During the peak of the crisis, Orban, the prime minister of Hungary ordered sealing of Hungary’s southern border, blocking a route for hundreds of thousands of migrants and trapping people in so-called migrant transit zones on its borders until May this year. Orban’s political ideology was built around a strong anti-immigration policy. In order not to accept immigrants into his country, he vetoed a $2.26 trillion budget and recovery package for the EU earlier this month. In a ruling in May this year, the court forced Hungary to close the migrant zones on the grounds that they were merely illegal detention centres. After closing the camps, Hungary hardened rules to bar future asylum applicants thereby international law would not mandate Budapest to allow them to enter Hungary.
Hungary’s university reform is another issue in which the EU has clashed with the Hungarian prime minister. Under the university reform, passed in 2017, foreign-registered universities can no longer operate in Hungary unless they also provide courses in their home countries. As a result of this reform law, Central European University (CEU) had to transfer the bulk of its courses out of Hungary. CEU is funded by Hungarian-born Soros, who promotes liberal causes through his charities. CEU moved out of Hungary after a long legal battle between Hungarian-born Soros, and the government of Orban. CEU is accredited in Austria, Hungary, and the United States, with campuses in Vienna and Budapest.
EU’s high court ruled that Hungary’s reform of higher education rules, was in breach of EU law. The ruling follows a complaint from the European Commission.
Channel News Asia and thestar.com.my reported.