Friday, February 23

Hungary Can Put Its Own Law Above EU Law If It Falls Short

For the time being, the highest Hungarian court will not let itself be played out against the European Court of Justice. The Hungarian government had asked the Constitutional Court to set aside a ruling from the European court, but it has not complied.


Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government went to the Constitutional Court after an unwelcome ruling by the European Court on Hungary’s asylum policy. Budapest asked the court to determine that Hungarian law takes precedence over European law, as happened in like-minded Poland earlier this year. The court does not agree.

Hungary may, however, follow its own asylum rules and laws where and as long as European legislation has not been sufficiently elaborated, according to the cautious and nuanced statement.

The EU had ruled that Hungary should not hold refugees indefinitely without any prospect of asylum. Under EU law, member states must provide asylum seekers with basic necessities such as shelter and food. Orbán is a staunch opponent of admitting asylum seekers. After the European ruling, Hungary stopped detaining asylum seekers but has tightened many other rules.

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