The Hungarian government faces another defeat in the legal dispute over its strict refugee policy before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In a procedure on the Hungarian asylum system, the responsible Advocate General Priit Pikamäe was convinced that Hungary did not meet the requirements of EU law in its asylum rules. Among other things, he spoke of an "illegal detention" of asylum seekers in transit zones. (Az. C-808/19)

The EU Commission had brought an action for infringement before the ECJ. According to the Commission, it violates EU law, among other things, that asylum seekers in Hungary can only apply in transit zones and have to be there during their examination.

Advocate General Pikamäe now advocated that the Court of Justice should uphold the lawsuit. According to him, it is not legal that protection seekers should only apply for asylum in a transit zone, said Pikamäe. Asylum seekers should only be detained in justified cases. The mandatory application in the transit zones prevents effective applications for international protection.

In his Opinion, Pikamäe referred to a judgment of the ECJ in May in an urgent procedure, according to which the placement of asylum seekers in the controversial container warehouse Röszke on the Hungarian-Serbian border should be classified as detention. Shortly after the judgment, Hungary announced the closure of the camp.

The advice of the Advocates General is of particular importance before the ECJ. The judges are not bound by it, but follow them in numerous cases. A judgment in the trial is not expected until a few weeks from now.