In a speech this morning in the European Parliament, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen commended the Hungarian government for delivering on the European Commission’s requirements regarding the justice reform bill; this had enabled the transfer of a portion of EU funds due to Hungary that had previously been frozen.
“This was required for Hungary to meet the conditions for cohesion funds. This is what we requested and this is what Hungary delivered,” the EC President said. But wait for the next sentence, there’s a catch.
“At the same time, around 20 billion euros remain frozen,” she continued, adding that “they are suspended for reasons that include concerns on LGBTIQ rights, academic freedom and asylum rights. Some are blocked under the conditionality mechanism and they will remain blocked until Hungary fulfills all the necessary conditions.”
Ironically, LGBTQ rights and migration policies belong under national competencies (and, as a matter of fact, so does academic freedom), which means that these are areas where the European Union cannot, and quite frankly, should not, have any say whatsoever. Don’t take my word for it, it’s clearly stated in the Treaties.
While Prime Minister Orbán’s governments have shown great willingness to cooperate and compromise with Brussels wherever possible, our child protection laws (Brussels calls it an LGBTIQ law, but in reality it’s about protecting our children) and migration policies lie far beyond the red line. And as such, we will continue to stand up for the interests and decisions of Hungarian citizens.
Incidentally, the Hungarian government’s stance on both of these issues has been bolstered in the past by two referenda. In April 2022, almost 4 million Hungarians opted to protect children from gender ideology and efforts to include sex education in curricula and media content available to minors. Hungarian voters also stood up for the inalienable right of parents to decide on the sexual education of their children. With the never-ending witch hunt against Hungary, Brussels is spinning this into a debate on whether the law is “anti-gay,” when, the truth is, it is not “anti-anything.” Instead, it’s strictly pro-children and pro-family.
Similarly, in 2016’s migration referendum, more than 98 percent of respondents, some 3.3 million Hungarians, rejected Brussels’ plan to enforce a migrant relocation quota on Hungary. Since then, it has been widely accepted around Europe that Hungary’s policy towards mass illegal migration was the right one when the crisis hit.
We will not let Hungary become a country of immigrants, and we will always protect our right to decide who we want to let into our country.
I’m sorry, Mrs. von der Leyen, but a compromise on these two issues will not be possible at this time.