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Index – Al Watan – The Constitutional Court is preparing to issue another quota decision in the resettlement case

Index – Al Watan – The Constitutional Court is preparing to issue another quota decision in the resettlement case

As is known, it was adopted by the Council of the European Union on September 22, 2015 For the year 1601/2015. resolution, which also provides, as a temporary measure, for the transfer of specific groups of persons residing in Italy and Greece, who have applied for asylum there, to other Member States, including our country. In the first round, orders were issued to transfer 1,294 people to Hungary. But the Hungarian government filed a lawsuit against the Council of the European Union because, in its view, one of these transfer measures had been adopted illegally by the EU governments in Brussels, despite the opposition of many countries. However, the European Court of Justice rejected this claim in the fall of 2017. However, the second judicial procedure had already been initiated by the European Commission because Hungary (along with the Czech Republic and Poland) did not accept asylum seekers from Greece and Italy between 2015 and 2017.

The position of the Hungarian government has not changed since then.

In December of last year Peter Szijjarto The Foreign and Trade Minister stressed that despite the EU's plans, there will be no mandatory resettlement quota in Hungary.

Ombudsman Questions

Not long after the quota decision was issued by the Council of the European Union The conversion took place in December 2015 Laszlo Szekely With a request from the Ombudsman to the Constitutional Court. The Fundamental Rights Commissioner asked four questions:

  1. How broad it is The Basic Law fourteenth. Paragraph (1) of Article 1 prohibiting collective expulsion of foreigners?
  2. On the basis of Article e) Paragraph (2) of the Basic Law, can Hungarian state bodies implement EU measures that violate the fundamental rights established in the Basic Law?
  3. Can Article E, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law limit the implementation of EU legal acts that are not based on the powers transferred to the EU in the Constitutive Treaties?
  4. Based on paragraph (2) of Article e) of the Basic Law, can Hungarian state bodies participate in the collection and forcible transfer of foreign persons legally residing in another EU Member State?
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Well, the first question then is the Constitutional Court I fired himHe will decide that later. Regarding the three remaining questions in the Board of Directors’ decision at the end of 2016 He nailed itthat the Constitutional Court cannot waive the protection of human dignity and fundamental rights, and must ensure that the joint exercise of powers cannot lead to a violation of the fundamental content of human dignity or other fundamental rights, cannot violate the sovereignty of Hungary, and cannot lead to a violation of Constitutional self-identity.

“Europe will not let me down”

More than seven years have passed since the first decision, and now the Constitutional Court On your agenda Set the answer to the isolated question.

The Ombudsman's proposal regarding the prohibition of mass expulsions does not claim that the text of the quota decision allowing the transfer of asylum seekers omits the requirement of individual assessment and differs from the approach of the EU legal system based on strict protection of refugees. Fundamental rights. The Fundamental Rights Commissioner also points out that under international law, it is also considered an expulsion if a state sends the asylum seeker to a safe third country, or “if a state orders the expulsion of a large group of people en masse without any meaning.” “A comprehensive consideration of the unique situation of individuals constitutes collective expulsion.”

Karoly Eötvös Institute position According to the Ombudsman's logic, even the systematic return of asylum seekers to Serbia by the Hungarian authorities may conflict with the Basic Law's prohibition on mass expulsions. Although acting Hungarian law enforcement bodies officially make individual decisions, the summary outcome of the proceedings is no different from a mass expulsion. the Laszlo Maitini The institute he runs Europe will not let me down In his opinion, he considers that if the Constitutional Court finds that the quota decision conflicts with the ban on mass expulsions, it can also prove the unconstitutionality of the Hungarian legislation, that is, it cannot only provide a basis for refusing to implement the quota. resolution.

On the other hand, if, based on the decision of the European Court of Justice, the Constitutional Court rejects the arguments of the Ombudsman's proposal, the government will have no choice domestically as well, but to comply with its obligations and implement the quota decision.

– Claims analysis of the Károly Eötvös Institute.

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Two limitations on EU legal acts

The constitutional judge in charge of the case Tamas SoljukChairman of the Board of Directors in the summer of 2021 at the conference organized by the Hungarian Bar Association Covered in detail For the quota decision. In his presentation, he emphasized the complementary responsibility of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, according to which it must protect the unique values ​​of the Hungarian constitutional system, primarily the Hungarian constitutional identity. He also confirmed:

Only by protecting this can unity in diversity be achieved and the process of integration can remain in bed according to treaties. We must point out that among the constitutions of the Member States, only the Hungarian Basic Law contains a requirement to protect constitutional identity, which is therefore mandatory for the Constitutional Court and all state bodies.

He stated: In the quota decision, the Constitutional Court made clear that the European Union guarantees adequate protection of fundamental rights through the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. At the same time, the Constitutional Court may not waive the protection of human dignity and fundamental rights, and must ensure that the common exercise of powers in the European Union does not harm the fundamental content of human dignity or other fundamental rights. Regarding EU legal acts extending beyond the EU's common competences, the Constitutional Court established two main restrictions: on the one hand, the exercise of the common competences must not violate Hungary's sovereignty, and, on the other hand, it must not lead to a violation of constitutional self-identity.

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(Cover photo: Tamas Suljuk on March 4, 2021. Photo: Patricia Bodnar/Index)