Having deemed that the Hungarian government had not done enough to address its concerns, the EC decided to take the case to the Luxembourg-based court. The infringement procedure was launched in July 2018. In a statement, the EC said the new law and a related constitutional amendment were not compatible with EU law. Criminalising activities that support asylum and residence applications restricts the right to request asylum, it added. “The Hungarian legislation curtails asylum applicants’ right to communicate with and be assisted by relevant national, international and non-governmental organisations by criminalising support to asylum applications.” The EC reasoned that the law excessively restricts EU citizens’ right to free movement.
Commenting on the EC’s decision, the government spokesman said Hungary would continue to stand by its “Stop Soros” laws and the constitutional amendment banning the mandatory settlement of migrants by non-Hungarian authorities in the country. The Hungarian government is ready to defend itself in court, István Hollik said.