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Constitutional Court says EU cannot violate Hungarian sovereignty

December 5th, 2016

As the Constitutional Court vindicates Hungary’s right to check any EU rule including mandatory migrant redistribution, a conservative columnist contends that the quota referendum was much ado for nothing.

In its ruling on EU migrant quotas on Wednesday, the Constitutional Court (similarly to several other Constitutional Courts in the EU) stipulated that it has the right to study any EU legislation including the mandatory distribution of migrants in the EU in order to protect basic human rights, Hungary’s sovereignty and constitutional identity. The ruling was interpreted by most politicians as an indication that even without the amendment of the Fundamental Law, the Constitutional Court considers that it has the right to strike down the planned EU migrant quota system if this violates Hungary’s sovereignty. Some legal experts, however, pointed out that the Constitutional Court’s verdict does not imply that the planned mandatory EU migrant quota violates the Hungarian Fundamental Law. The Court will only discuss this specific issue after the European Court of Justice rules in the case submitted by the Hungarian government in December 2015 against the first EU decision on migrant relocation.

In Magyar Nemzet, Mariann Kiss thinks that in light of the Constitutional Court’s decision, the government’s quota referendum was a completely unnecessary exercise. As the current Fundamental Law allows the Constitutional Court to investigate and reject any EU regulation if it violates basic rights or Hungary’s constitutional identity, the conservative analyst contends, the quota referendum was merely a tool for the government to generate anti-immigrant hysteria and divert attention from other public issues.

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