By Melina Joseph
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has come to a conclusion regarding the rise of an illiberal democracy in Hungary. Meanwhile, the European Subcommittee on Terrorism has moved on to discuss preventative measures against terrorism when dealing with the refugee crisis.
Two rulings were voted on in the CJEU. The accepted ruling established that being illiberal and democratic does not disqualify a country from the EU. In terms of how Hungary is affected, there will be a six-month advisory period in which Hungary’s progress is monitored by the European Commission. If Hungary fails to change their behaviour, they will be temporarily suspended for twelve months.
Judge Juhasz of the majority opinion agreed that “this case was a matter of legal interpretation.” The ruling recommends changes to the Copenhagen Agreement to offer better legal specificity.
The rejected draft ruling outlined the articles and directives of the European Union that were violated by the Hungarian government. These breaches of law include inhibiting freedom of movement and passing legislation to help criminalize those seeking asylum in Hungary. Due to this, it was proposed that the state of Hungary would be suspended from the European Commission for a year.
Judge Larsen of the dissenting opinion sought to maintain a perspective that the court “applies the law, rather than make it.” He supported the idea of temporary suspension for a country that fails to follow EU rules but did not believe that the Copenhagen criteria, which enables a country to join the EU, is the criteria for a state to remain as a member state.
After the ruling on Hungary, the CJEU moved to discuss the issue of historical revisionism in Poland. It was determined that Poland had illegally repressed free speech by violating Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Polish government has been urged by the Court to accept the factual evidence that condemns its actions in murdering the Jewish people during World War II.
Additionally, the Court has proposed a subcommittee under the Council of Europe known as the “Historical Standardization Committee.” This committee would create a standardised curriculum to be used in educational systems throughout Europe, in which historical authenticity would be preserved through factual information regarding World War II specifically.
Now, the Court is considering a case concerning the right to be forgotten. During an unmoderated caucus, members began to argue the merits of global Internet censorship and state sovereignty.
‘The right to be forgotten must be done on a case-by-case basis, not as a blanket law,” Judge Blot stated. She drew upon comparisons such as corporate manipulation of governmental systems and individuals, as well as situations in which convicts seek employment. “The world has a right to know about people who endanger society.”
The Subcommittee on Terrorism has moved on from a discussion of how artificial intelligence (AI) can reduce radicalisation to how security efforts can reduce terrorist acts. Many delegates expressed the need to strengthen data information systems and focus on border patrol measures.
The delegate from Germany remained open to discussing the enhancement of border and airport security. In an effort to be clear that this conversation would not discourage asylum seekers, he added that “Immigrants are valuable to our economy.”
Several working papers share themes of security checks, from the increase of background checks and waiting periods for purchasing weapons to strict medical testing for said purchases. Many delegates are urging for the improvement of the Schengen Information System and the Visa Information System.