Brussels considers that the new asylum procedures adopted by Hungary – in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic – are “contrary to European Union” (EU) law.

According to these new procedures, introduced in May, “before they can apply for international protection in Hungary, third-country nationals must first submit a declaration of intent expressing their willingness to seek asylum at a Hungarian embassy outside EU and to issue them a special entry permit in this regard “, the Commission stated in a communiqué on Friday.

Brussels “considers this provision to be an unlawful restriction on access to the asylum procedure”, as “it prevents persons on Hungarian territory, including at the border, from seeking international protection”.

The Commission has sent a warning letter to Hungary for the time being.

Budapest has two months to respond to the Commission’s arguments.

Otherwise, the Commission could present a reasoned opinion, ie a formal request to Hungary to comply with EU law.

If the answer remains unsatisfactory, Brussels may subsequently decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).