How EU made history by suing Hungary over anti-LGBTQ+ laws?
The European Commission EU has announced it will sue Hungary over an anti-LGBT law and its refusal to renew the license of Klubradio, a broadcaster critical of the government, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters ahead of an official announcement on Friday.
The Commission considered that this law ‘violates the fundamental rights of people -in particular, LGTBI people- and, in relation to these fundamental rights, the values of the EU,’ according to a statement.
The decision to refer the case to the CJEU, the Commission pointed out, is the planned step in the infringement procedure initiated in July 2021, which then began with a formal letter from Brussels to Budapest.
For the bloc’s executive, the protection of children is ‘an absolute priority in the EU’, but added that the Hungarian law contains ‘provisions that are not justified on the basis of protecting these fundamental interests or are disproportionate’.
In the opinion of the Commission, this Hungarian legislation “identifies and attacks content that promotes or portrays what is called ‘divergence of one’s identity corresponding to sex at birth, change of sex or homosexuality’ for minors”.
The Commission also announced this Friday that it will take Hungary to European justice for “infringing EU telecommunications regulations” by rejecting the request of the Klubradio chain for the use of the radio spectrum “for very questionable reasons”.
In a specific statement, the bloc’s executive expressed his conviction that Hungary ‘ violates EU law by applying disproportionate conditions and non-transparent conditions to the renewal of the rights to use the Klubradio radio spectrum.’
Hungary, added the note, applying the relevant rules ‘in a disproportionate and discriminatory manner.’ ‘By its conduct, Hungary has also violated the freedom of expression enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,’ he said.
For the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, ‘in the EU, the largest democratic space in the world, no free radio should be taken off the air for reasons that are not objective, or based on a discriminatory administrative procedure.’
In June 2021, Hungary’s parliament passed a law banning content that could be considered to “promote homosexuality and gender change”. The law applies to any content seen by people under 18.
The Law establishes restrictive regulations that specifically affect electronic commerce and information society services, educational activities, the classification of audiovisual content and audiovisual advertising; it also lacks the necessary precision regarding the definition of who may be authorized to access sensitive personal data stored in the Criminal Records System and the definition of the persons whose data may be subject to said access. These amendments violate various provisions of secondary EU law, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Immediately after the adoption of the law, on June 23, 2021, Commissioners Thierry Breton and Didier Reynders wrote to Hungary to raise questions related to the compatibility of certain provisions of the then legislative proposal with various provisions of EU law. and requested clarification.
Since the Hungarian response did not address the Commission’s concerns, the Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary on 15 July 2021. Equality and respect for the dignity and human rights are fundamental values of the EU, enshrined in the Treaty on European Union and specified in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Commission will use all the instruments at its disposal to defend these values.
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