EU Court Fines Hungary €200 Million for Ignoring Asylum Laws

The European Union’s top court has fined Hungary €200 million ($216 million) and imposed a daily penalty of €1 million for failing to comply with the bloc’s asylum regulations and illegally deporting migrants.

The European Court of Justice stated that Hungary “is deliberately evading” adherence to EU laws, despite a 2020 ruling mandating that the country uphold international asylum procedures.

“Since this failure to fulfill obligations constitutes an unprecedented and exceptionally serious breach of EU law, the Court orders Hungary to pay a lump sum of €200 million and a penalty payment of €1 million per day of delay,” the court said in a statement.

Hungary, under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s far-right Fidesz party, which secured 47.4% of the vote in recent EU elections, has resisted allowing asylum seekers into the country despite EU and international laws requiring individual assessments of asylum claims.

The court criticized Budapest for continuing to restrict migrants’ access to formally applying for asylum and not allowing them to stay in Hungary while their applications are processed.

In support of the European Commission’s request for the fine, the court emphasized that Hungary’s actions “seriously undermine the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility between the member states.”

EU member states must submit national plans by December detailing how they will implement new asylum rules set to take effect in 2026. These rules aim to strengthen the bloc’s borders against irregular migrants, introducing faster vetting procedures and accelerated deportations for those deemed ineligible for asylum.

The new regulations will also establish border centers to hold migrants while their asylum requests are processed. Additionally, EU countries will be required to accept a share of asylum-seekers from frontline states like Italy and Greece or provide financial or other resources to support these nations.

Hungary has opposed these new rules, particularly the requirement to accept asylum-seekers from other EU states, arguing that its stringent approach is necessary to protect the European Union.

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