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The Article 7 procedure, which was launched against Hungary earlier this year, will be a long drawn-out affair, a justice ministry official said in an interview published in Magyar Hírlap. “It is unlikely that anything will happen” before the EP elections in May next year, and “it’s going to be a different EP and European Commission afterwards”, state secretary Pál Völner said, adding that the procedure was “part of a political show trial”. “This whole business shows the endeavours of the old EU pacesetters, Germany and France, to preside over decision-making in the bloc. When there are breaking points on certain issues, they tend to punish certain member states on other matters too,” Völner said. “One such focal point is the issue of migration.”

Regarding the United Nations global compact for migration, which Hungary refuses to sign, Völner said that according to “certain interpretations”, such compacts are non-binding. However, “looking at previous compacts, it seems that such recommendations are later used as points of reference in international courts.” The government believes the compact “would activate world-wide migration processes, and Europe remains one of the main destinations,” he said.

Regarding the so-called debit cards for migrants, the state secretary said that global regulations against money laundering require that “everyone, including debit card holders, should be identifiable”. The debit cards for migrants do not contain such data, he said. Meanwhile, the introduction of “migrant visas” would lead to a renewal of the idea of distributing migrants among the member states, Völner said.