EU Commission Will Sue Poland and Hungary at the EU Court over LGBT Issues

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. | July 22, 2021

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament

NEW YORK, July 23 (C-Fam) The European Commission wants to punish Poland and Hungary because of their alleged anti-LGBT laws and policies, but it does not want to use the political channels established by EU treaty law.

“The Commission is launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights,” the Commission announced last week in a press release.

The legal basis for the Commission’s threats to Poland and Hungary remain unclear, as does the nature of the proceedings being initiated.

In the case of Hungary, the Commission objects to a law that prohibits the promotion of information about transgenderism and homosexuality to children that went into force this month. In Poland, the Commission opposes a series of municipal resolutions adopted in recent years in several Polish cities that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The Commission claimed the basis of its infringement procedure to be a violation of “core values” of the European Union, which requires the Commission to make an application to the European Parliament.

According to Article 7 of the EU treaty, a member state of the Union may be declared to be in violation of the fundamental values of the European Union by four-fifths of the European Parliament. The EU Council may then impose all manner of sanctions on the non-compliant member state, including removing privileges and subsidies, and even taking away their voting rights in the EU Council. This is essentially a political process with a political remedy.

Despite claiming a violation of EU core values, the Commission did not initiate the political procedure foreseen in EU treaty law. Instead, it is bypassing political scrutiny from EU member states altogether and going directly to the European Court of Justice.

The proceedings announced by the Commission against Poland and Hungary are for breach of their obligations under the EU treaty. In the case of Hungary, the commission is claiming a violation of the guarantee of free movement and information across the European Union. For Poland, they are claiming non-cooperation.

Regardless of whether or not the Court finds these claims convincing, this is essentially a legal process with a judicial remedy. The only kind of punishment that may be imposed by the court is a monetary penalty or fine.

This is the latest escalation of the ongoing culture war between the European Commission and Poland and Hungary. The Commission is the most powerful organ of the European Union. It controls the EU budget. It sets EU rules for all aspects of trade and governs the EU bureaucracy.

The Commission has been openly critical of Polish and Hungarian politicians and their policies to protect life and family, and is not afraid to use all tools available to put pressure on them.

It held up 900 billion Euro of COVID-19 recovery funds for months because it wanted to make receipt of the funds conditional on the implementation of LGBT policies, something Poland and Hungary would not accept. And the Commission is withholding approval for 7.2 billion Euro in COVID-19 recovery funds for Hungary and 57 billion for Poland, citing concerns about the “rule of law” in those countries.

The Commission adopted the first-ever EU global strategy to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) equality in November last year. The strategy includes the objectives of making “hate speech” and “hate crimes” EU crimes by 2021 and to impose mutual recognition of “rainbow families” across the European Union by 2022.