The European Fee will start authorized proceedings in opposition to Hungary over a controversial regulation curbing LGBTQ content material, within the newest spat between Brussels and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s authorities.
“The Hungarian invoice is a disgrace,” Fee President Ursula Von der Leyen informed reporters in Brussels on Wednesday. “I’ll use all of the powers of the fee to make sure that the rights of all EU residents are assured, whoever you might be and wherever you reside.”
Hungary’s Parliament accredited final week laws outlawing content material for kids that may be deemed to “promote homosexuality.” The invoice, which pairs homosexuality with pedophilia, builds on earlier laws adopted in Hungary final yr, together with placing an efficient ban on adoption by same-sex companions and enshrining within the structure that marriage is feasible solely between a person and a lady.
The laws has provoked a livid response in Brussels and in Western European capitals. On Tuesday, 13 EU governments issued a joint declaration condemning it, because it “represents a flagrant type of discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation, gender id and expression.”
Whereas Wednesday’s anticipated motion from the European Fee is simply the beginning of long-drawn authorized proceedings that may haven’t any rapid affect on Hungary, the transfer provides to indicators that the Fee will take a troublesome stance when assessing whether or not the alleged descent of Hungary and Poland towards authoritarianism presents a threat for EU funds.
Later this yr, the EU’s govt arm could suggest the freezing of funds from the bloc’s collectively financed stimulus program and customary price range towards the 2 nations ruled by arduous proper populist events. The proposal, which would want the backing of a weighted majority of European governments, may imply that billions of euros in EU funds might be withheld over the dearth of democratic checks and balances to make sure they won’t be misappropriated.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted: “Europe is greater than a money machine, it’s additionally about elementary values.”
—With help from Aoife White.