Slovakia Still Applying the Beneš Decrees – Principle of Collective Guilt in the European Union
15-07-2020 - Balázs Tárnok
In mid-May, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Slovak State Forest Company wants to unlawfully confiscate privately owned plots of land, referring to the Beneš Decrees. One month later, it was revealed that the Slovak state wants to confiscate plots under the D4 highway, worth millions of Euros, on the basis of the Beneš Decrees. In both cases, the legal basis for the confiscation of property is that the ancestors of the land owners were Hungarians. These cases made it clear that Slovakia still applies the principle of collective guilt, not only humiliating the Hungarian community living in Slovakia but also finding an easier way to obtain valuable lands without paying for them. It is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the Matovič government to address this issue and get back Slovakia on the track of European values.