Parliamentary questions
26 September 2016
Question for oral answer
to the Commission
Rule 128
Barbara Spinelli, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Cornelia Ernst, Patrick Le Hyaric, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Judith Sargentini, Ulrike Lunacek, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Cecilia Wikström, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sophia in 't Veld, Angelika Mlinar, Louis Michel, Marielle de Sarnez, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Péter Niedermüller, Tanja Fajon, Soraya Post, Ana Gomes

 Subject: Situation in Hungary: Referendum and respect for European and international law on asylum

On 10 June 2015 Parliament adopted a resolution in plenary on the situation in Hungary raising concerns about the situation of the rule of law and fundamental rights in the country and calling on the Commission to activate the first stage of the rule of law framework by carrying out an in-depth monitoring process. In its resolution Parliament also denounced the public consultation on migration and the related country-wide billboard campaign initiated by the Hungarian Government, stressing that the content was highly misleading, biased and unbalanced. The EUR 16 million campaign leading up to the referendum of 2 October 2016 included billboards and an 18-page booklet displaying distorted facts about asylum-seekers and migrants, portraying them as dangerous to Europe’s future, linking migration to increased terrorism and referring to non-existent ‘no-go’ areas in European cities. In relation to asylum law, the Commission opened in December 2015 an infringement procedure concerning the newly adopted Hungarian asylum legislation, pointing to their incompatibility with EU law. New developments in asylum legislation have occurred in Hungary in 2016, notably with the entry into force on 5 July 2016 of a law that allows push-backs of people found to have entered the country irregularly, which have often be carried out with violence, according to Human Rights Watch. The government has also initiated a ‘border-hunter’ recruitment campaign. In addition, the September 2015 law establishing transit zones and a daily cap on the number of asylum-seekers allowed to enter is forcing many vulnerable people to spend weeks waiting in poor conditions at the Serbian border.

1. Can the Commission provide Parliament with its assessment of the Hungarian Government’s campaign leading up to the referendum of 2 October 2016, including its compatibility with Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the right against discrimination enshrined in EU and international law?

2. Can it provide Parliament with its assessment of the compatibility of current Hungarian asylum legislation, including the new law of 5 July 2016, with EU and international law?

3. Does it think that the reported practices of police abuse against asylum-seekers are consistent with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights?

4. What action is it planning to take to address this situation?

Last updated: 28 September 2016Legal notice