Viktor Orban slams EU fine for Hungary defending its border against illegal immigration

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Hungary must pay a fine of €200 million for defending its borders against illegal immigration, calling the country's actions a "serious infringement of EU law." Hungary will be fined an additional €1 million per day until the strict asylum policy is altered to mirror those found in other nations in the union.

President Viktor Orban slammed the decision, but showed no signs of backing down. He said the situation was yet another example of the European Union putting those trying to enter the region illegally above those who are already living there. 

In a statement, the ECJ explained that the decision concerned Hungary's policies of "restricting access to the international protection procedure, unlawfully detaining applicants and failing to observe their right to remain in Hungarian territory pending a final decision on their appeal against the rejection of their application, as well as the removal of illegally staying third-country nationals."

"That failure which consists in deliberately avoiding the application of a common EU policy as a whole," the court argued, "constitutes an unprecedented and extremely serious infringement of EU law."

As the Times reports, due to the nature of ECJ processes, Hungary has no way to appeal or otherwise object to the ruling, and must abide by it, or continue paying the hefty fines.

"The [ECJ]'s decision to fine [Hungary] with 200M euros plus 1M euros daily(!!!) for defending the borders of the European Union is outrageous and unacceptable," Orban wrote in a post on X. "It seems that illegal [migrants] are more important to the Brussels bureaucrats than their own European citizens."

This is just the latest development in a decade-long battle between European officials and Hungary, with the latter having made it clear from the beginning of the migrant crisis that they would not be abiding by the union's rules regarding its borders. In 2020, the country passed a law that required all migrants hoping to be granted asylum in Hungary to first apply at embassies in a third country. On a domestic level, Orban's policies have been very popular, and have been cited by other right-wing governments as a model for how to handle the issue.

Image: Title: Orban