European Union to crack whip over Hungary and Poland
The European Union is set to start legal proceedings against two of its member-nations, Hungary and Poland, for discriminating against LGBTQ people.
The executive arm of EU, the European Commission, will send letters of formal notice to Hungary and Poland as part of the process that would lead to a suit at the European Court of Justice.
This is reportedly part of the steps EU will take in fighting against democratic backsliding in the bloc.
European Union heading to the court
EU and Hungary are clashing over a present Hungarian law that the latter claims will protect children against pedophilia, but activists say will discriminate against people based on sexual orientation.
In particular, the new Hungarian law bans schools from using materials seen as promoting homosexuality.
Meanwhile, EU is challenging Poland over the towns and provinces in their country that have declared themselves “free of LGBTQ ideology.”
Almost a third of their municipalities have already adopted this declaration.
As a result, the Commission believes that both nations have breached the EU’s founding values and fundamental principles.
Once the letters by the Commission formally initiate the EU infringement procedure, Hungary and Poland have the right to respond to the concerns and address the issues.
If the required changes aren’t address, the commission will then decide whether to bring these to court.
Hungary and Poland face repercussions
Given their current situation and previous disputes with EU, both Hungary and Poland could face not having the support of EU during the pandemic.
This year, the Commission has the power that allows it to withhold budget payments if rule-of-law violations will affect EU’s financial interests.
In relation to this, the Commission had withheld their approval of Hungary’s recovery plan, which would give that nation access to 7.2 billion in Euros in grants for their recovery.
The Commission has also relayed corruption and transparency concerns to Hungary. Meanwhile, Poland also stands to miss out on as much as 23.9 billion Euros in recovery grants.
However, they have approved the recovery plans of 12 member states, which would allow them to receive their first installment of their share of the EU’s 750 billion Euro recovery fund.
Among the first recipients are Italy and Spain, both receiving almost 70 billion Euros in subsidies for the next five years. Meanwhile, France will receive 40 billion Euros.
European Union to use all powers available
EU would be using “all powers available” to get Hungary to repeal or modify the said law, warned European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen earlier.
However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he will not give in to the pressuere from the EU.
“The European Parliament and the European Commission want that we let LGBTQ activists and organisations into the kindergartens and schools,” Orban said on his Facebook page.
“Hungary does not want that. Here Brussels bureaucrats have no business at all,” he added.