Hungary to hold referendum on migrant quotas

[JURIST] The Hungary government on Wednesday announced it will hold a referendum [press release] to determine if the country will accept the EU migrant quota. Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced the referendum and stressed that the EU migrant quota should be addressed by the representatives of the Hungarian people. In the announcement, Orban stated, "[w]e feel that to introduce a quota for resettlement is nothing without the people's consent, such as abuse of power." The Hungarian government believes the referendum strengthens notion of the free association of nations in the EU. Also this week representatives from 10 countries are meeting [Telegraph report] in Vienna to attempt to stop the influx of migrants into European nations.

The issue of migrant rights has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issues around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. Earlier this week the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that new measures put in place by many European countries are too restrictive and place undue hardships [JURIST report] on refugees and asylum-seekers. Also this week Amnesty International warned Austria that they are violating human rights through their daily cap on asylum applications [JURIST report]. The country had previously received a warning from an EU official not to go ahead with these plans, stating that any such move would be unlawful [JURIST report]. Earlier this month the German Cabinet approved new asylum laws [JURIST report] in response to the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have entered the country since the beginning of 2015. The bill will speed up asylum procedures and related legal appeals and will bar entry into the country for some asylum seekers' families for a period of two years. In January Danish lawmakers approved a controversial bill that will allow Danish authorities to seize assets [JURIST report] from immigrants seeking asylum in order to cover their expenses. In December the EU opened an infringement case [JURIST report] against Hungary's new asylum law and the country's response to the refugee situation.

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