EU in crisis: Hungary teams up with Poland to force hammer blow to European Commission

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In a move that has massively increased tensions within the EU and humiliated Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made it clear he will oppose a push to federalism in Europe which in his view will end democratic accountability and destroy national identities.

Mr Orban issued a statement after the Hungarian Constitutional Court overruled the controversial European Court of Justice (ECJ) which had demanded it open its borders to immigrants from outside the EU.

The decision by Hungary to prevent illegal immigration has been one of the few routes blocked across Europe to the English Channel with thousands of illegal migrants attempting to get to the UK after crossing the EU.

Mr Orban, who is preparing for an election in April where his party could lose power to a new coalition, claimed that European law was leading to the “disintegration of traditional communities” and right of people to a homeland.

He went on: “Ultimately, in terms of fundamental rights, Europeans today have no right to their country, their language, their culture, their family and their God.

“The decision of the Constitutional Court of Hungary takes a stand against this.

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“It takes an upended human rights system and sets it back on its feet.

“It is in this light that we should read what the decision says about the powers of the European Union and the sovereignty of Hungary.”

And in a direct threat to Brussels, he added: “The Hungarian state has a duty to prevent serious violations of individuals’ identity – even if such violations come from a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union or from deficiencies in the EU’s exercise of power.

“The traditional social environment of people living in Hungary must not be allowed to change without a democratic mandate and oversight by the state.”

The insistence that ECJ rulings should have precedence over domestic courts was one of the reasons that British voters backed Brexit in the EU referendum.

Hungary has now joined Poland, whose constitutional court concluded in October that domestic law had primacy over EU law in October.

The Polish decision caused a row within the EU with the European Commission and European Parliament threatening to throw Poland out of the EU or withhold funds.

Now Hungary has joined its fellow Eastern European country in resisting attempts to create an EU superstate, the prospects of a major split have increased.

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