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EU steps up battle with Hungary over migration and asylum

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By Damon Embling
EU steps up battle with Hungary over migration and asylum

The EU Commission's ratcheting up its legal battle with Hungary over migration rules. It's also denouncing the country's so-called 'Stop Soros' law, which criminalises support for asylum seekers.

"The Commission has also sent a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning the new Hungarian legislation including the constitutional amendment which criminalised activities that support asylum and residents application and further restrict the right to asylum," said Natasha Berthaud, a European Commission spokesperson.

For what it describes as "non-compliance" of asylum and return legislation, the Commission's referred Hungary to the EU Court of Justice.

This as a standoff between Budapest and Brussels deepens. The Hungarian government was re-elected in April on an anti-migrant platform.

Péter Szijjártó, Hungary Foreign Minister commented: "Contrary to Brussels Hungary believes migration is a security policy issue. For us defending Hungary and the Hungarian people's security is top priority. We will defend it on our south border and in Brussels as well. We are ready to debate this procedure, we are ready for the legal fight."

Hungary has two months to respond to the Commission's concerns about the Stop Soros law. That can also be referred to the EU Court of Justice if the dispute's not resolved.