Hungary's controversial transit zones along the Serbian border are policed by military units | COPYRIGHT: picture-alliance/Photoshot/A. Volgyi
Hungary's controversial transit zones along the Serbian border are policed by military units | COPYRIGHT: picture-alliance/Photoshot/A. Volgyi

In the dispute with the right-wing nationalist government in Hungary over providing for rejected asylum seekers, the European Commission has upped the pressure. The government in Budapest has not yet smoothed out concerns, the responsible EU authority in Brussels said. Hungary now has one month to comply with EU rules or else face court action.

The European Commission (EC) is pressing ahead with measures against Hungary after the EU member state withheld food for rejected asylum applicants in transit zones on the Serbian border.

Compelling refugees to stay in the Hungarian transit zones "amounts to de facto detention," the commission argues, adding that "failure to provide food in these circumstances does not respect EU obligations."

"Given the urgency of the situation, the Commission decided to send a reasoned opinion with a deadline of one month for Hungary to respond," the EC said in an online statement and elsewhere.

The case was launched on July 26, when the commission send Budapest a letter of formal notice. The Hungarian government's reply, however, "did not address the commission's concerns," it said.

Should Hungary fail to comply with EU rules in the coming month, the EC may refer the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the bloc's top tribunal.

The ECJ is already dealing with other cases in the dispute over asylum between Hungary and the EC. This summer, for instance, the EC sued Hungary because of its treatment of people assisting refugees and asylum seekers. 

With material from dpa

 

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