Gesetzentwurf in Ungarn – Schikanen gegen Flüchtlingshelfer

Ungarns Regierung versetzt dem Rechtsstaat einen schweren Schlag: Ein neues Gesetz lässt sich missbrauchen, um zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen und sogar die freie Presse zu gängeln […]. Die drei wesentlichen Bestimmungen des Gesetzespaketes:

  • Alle Zivilorganisationen, die zu „illegaler Migration“ beitragen, müssen sich gerichtlich registrieren lassen und periodisch Aktivitätsberichte vorlegen.

  • Zivilorganisationen, die mit „illegaler Migration“ zu tun haben und mehr als die Hälfte ihrer Einnahmen aus dem Ausland beziehen, müssen eine Strafsteuer von 25 Prozent zahlen, die der Staat dann für den Grenzschutz verwenden will.

  • Ungarischen Staatsbürgern, die im Verdacht stehen, zu „illegaler Migration“ beizutragen, kann der Zutritt zu einer Acht-Kilometer-Zone im Bereich der Schengen-Außengrenze verboten werden, ausländischen Staatsbürgern unter demselben Verdacht droht eine Ausweisung oder eine Einreisesperre.

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Budapest homeless service provider has had refugee housing program since 2016

Budapest’s largest homeless service provider has had a dedicated housing program for refugees since 2016, Magyar Nemzet reports. The Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions (BMSZKI) launched its housing program for refugees in August 2016 after it applied for and won HUF 82.5 million (USD 326,700) from the Ministry of Interior’s Interior Fund. The Interior Fund itself, totaling HUF 9.9 billion (USD 39.1 million), is funded from the European Commission’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The EU provides 75 percent funding for projects implemented from AMIF, while member states must provide 25 percent.

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LAUNCHING A NEW ACTION PLAN, “STOP SOROS”

After a cabinet meeting this afternoon, the Hungarian government released an article in English on the official website of the Prime Minister’s Office, About Hungary. Here are the most important provisions of these bills:

1. Every organization that supports illegal immigration by using foreign financial resources would be registered and obliged to report on its activity.

2. A tax would be imposed on the foreign funding of organizations supporting illegal immigration. This public income would be invested in border protection.

3. It would be possible to issue restraining orders against those who take part in organizing illegal immigration. In essence, such restraining orders would apply in any area that is within 8 kilometers of the Schengen border. In special cases, a third-country citizen would be subject to a restraining order anywhere within Hungary. This measure would remain in force until the end of the migration crisis.

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European Commission (Press release): Relocation – Commission refers the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the Court of Justice

The European Commission has today decided to refer the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation. On 15 June 2017, the Commission launched infringement procedures against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The replies provided by the three Member States were not found satisfactory and the Commission decided to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure by sending reasoned opinions on 26 July 2017.
Despite the confirmation by the Court of Justice of the EU of the validity of the relocation scheme in its ruling from the 6 September, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland remain in breach of their legal obligations. The replies received were again found not satisfactory and three countries have given no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision. This is why, the Commission has decided to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure and refer the three Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU. The Council Decisions require Member States to pledge available places for relocation every three months to ensure a swift and orderly relocation procedure. Whereas all other Member States have relocated and pledged in the past months, Hungary has not taken any action at all since the relocation scheme started, Poland has not relocated anyone and not pledged since December 2015. The Czech Republic has not relocated anyone since August 2016 and not made any new pledges for over a year.

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European Commission (Press release): Infringements – European Commission refers Hungary to the Court of Justice for its NGO Law

Today, the European Commission is referring Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU for its law on foreign-funded NGOs. This is the third step in the infringement procedure. It follows the letter of formal notice sent by the Commission on 14 July and the reasoned opinion issued on 4 October this year. The Commission has decided to start legal proceedings against Hungary for failing to fulfil its obligations under the Treaty provisions on the free movement of capital, due to provisions in the NGO Law which indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from abroad to civil society organisations. These provisions, which apply by reference to the foreign source of the capital, place a number of administrative formalities and burdens on the recipient of capital and are liable to have a stigmatising effect on both recipients and donors. Thus, they may dissuade people from making donations from abroad to civil society organisations in Hungary. The free movement of capital is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the European Single Market.

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European Commission (Press release): Commission steps up infringement against Hungary concerning its asylum law

The European Commission has today decided to move forward on the infringement procedure against Hungary concerning its asylum legislation by sending a reasoned opinion. The Commission initiated the infringement procedure against Hungary in December 2015. Following a series of exchanges both at political and technical level with the Hungarian authorities and the concerns raised by the amendments to the Hungarian asylum law introduced in March this year, the Commission decided to send a complementary letter of formal notice on 17 May 2017. Following the analysis of the reply provided by the Hungarian authorities, and in view of the new legislation adopted by the Hungarian Parliament in October, the Commission will no longer pursue four out of the eleven issues identified in the complementary letter of formal notice. The reply provided by the Hungarian authorities, however, was still found to be unsatisfactory as it failed to address the majority of the concerns. The Commission still considers that the Hungarian legislation does not comply with EU law, in particular Directive 2013/32/EU on Asylum Procedures, Directive 2008/115/EC on Return, Directive 2013/33/EU on Reception Conditions and several provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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