Hungary fined 200 million Euros for failing to comply with EU asylum Llaws

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (R) speaks with journalists in front of a polling station in Budapest, Hungary, as he leaves after casting his votes for European Parliament elections and municipal elections on June 9, 2024. Photo: AFP

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

The European Court of Justice stated that Budapest is “deliberately evading” compliance with EU laws, despite a 2020 ruling mandating Hungary to uphold international procedures for asylum seekers.

“Given the unprecedented and exceptionally serious breach of EU law, the Court orders Hungary to pay a lump sum of 200 million euros and a penalty payment of one million euros per day of delay,” the court announced.

Hungary, governed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s far-right Fidesz party, which recently secured 47.4 percent of the vote in EU elections, has consistently opposed allowing asylum seekers into the country despite EU and international legal obligations.

Budapest has restricted migrants’ access to formally applying for asylum and has not upheld their right to remain in Hungary while their applications are processed, the court noted.

As a result, the European Commission’s request for the fine against Hungary was upheld by the court, which emphasized that Hungary’s actions “seriously undermine the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility between the member states.”

By December, EU member countries are required to present national plans on how they will implement new asylum rules, set to take effect in 2026. These rules will enforce stricter border controls for irregular migrants, expedite deportation processes for ineligible asylum claimants, and establish new border centers to hold migrants while their requests are reviewed.

Additionally, the new regulations mandate that EU countries either accept thousands of asylum-seekers from “frontline” states like Italy and Greece or provide financial or other resources to assist these pressured nations.