EU Court of Justice backs Slovakia in border issue

Central Europe News Brief: Nov. 2012

The European Union Court of Justice ruled in favour of Slovakia concerning a border dispute with Hungary in 2009, saying it did not infringe upon EU law. At issue was the attempt by then-Hungarian president Laszlo Solyom to enter the southern Slovakian city Komárno on 21 Aug., 2009, to attend the unveiling of a monument to St. Stephen, Hungary’s first king.

Slovakia refused the Head of State’s entry into a city, which has an ethnic Hungarian majority, as it coincided with the anniversary of Hungary’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and no Slovakian officials were invited to the ceremony.

According to the 16 Oct. ruling, although Solyom is an EU citizen, his status as a head of state called for the jurisdiction of international law, not EU law, and therefore Slovakia was not obliged to grant access to the Hungarian head of state.

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