The Controversial Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary is Invalid

31 octubre, 2016

Blog of the IACL, AIDC


by Zoltán Szente, Professor of Law, National University of Public Service Research Chair, Institute for Legal Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest. Post originally published on the Constitution Making & Constitutional Change IACL Research Group blog.

Regardless of the intense government campaign which lasted more than a year and the involvement of almost the entire state apparatus, the Government-initiated anti-migrant referendum held on 2 October proved to be invalid due to low turnout.

The Hungarian Government initiated a national referendum in February 2016 against the controversial quota system proposed by the EU for the resettlement of migrants among the Member States (see Council Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015).  According to this plan, the member countries should share the burden of the migrant crisis relocating the asylum seekers from the front-line states (Greece and Italy) among all member states. Under this plan, Hungary should admit 1,294 people from the total of 160,000…

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