European Commission Punishing Ukraine Refugees Over LGBT
NEW YORK, March 25 (C-Fam) Cash-strapped Central European states Poland and Hungary have asked the EU Commission to intervene on their behalf in order to receive nearly $45 billion in assistance currently being withheld because the two states do not hold liberal views on homosexuality and transgenderism.
This is happening even though Poland and Hungary are bearing the brunt of the first impact of Ukrainian refugees. Over 2 million Ukrainian refugees entered Poland since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Nearly half a million have fled to Hungary.
The EU Commission decided to withhold EU COVID-19 relief funds from Poland and Hungary last year over their handling of abortion, LGBT issues and other legal reforms. The reason for withholding the funds, according to the EU Commission, was the failure of Poland and Hungary to abide by “EU fundamental values” having to do with the rule of law and non-discrimination.
Last year Hungary adopted a law that prohibits the promotion of information about transgenderism and homosexuality to children. In Poland, in recent years nearly 100 local municipalities adopted resolutions that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Moreover, the Polish Supreme Court has prohibited abortion on eugenic grounds.
Poland and Hungary are entitled to the funds withheld by the EU Commission as the funds are part of a €2 trillion stimulus package issued as joint EU debt that EU leaders approved to jump start the European economy following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Poland and Hungary challenged the authority of EU organs to withhold those funds before the EU Court of Justice earlier this year, but were defeated in February. The EU Court said that “the European Union must be able to defend those (EU) values.”
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, said the Commission would do everything in its power to wield the EU budget to promote EU values.
“We will act with determination,” she said.
The European Parliament this month adopted a resolution urging the EU Commission to propose a resolution for the EU Parliament and Council to permanently withhold the EU funds from Poland and Hungary until they comply with all conditions.
The Polish parliament is currently debating legal reforms to comply with some of the EU Commission’s demands, even though Polish political leaders continue to accuse the EU Commission of overreach.
Neither Poland nor Hungary should expect the EU Commission to quickly come to their aid because of the Ukraine crisis, even as Poland is becoming a focal point for Western political leaders because of its proximity to the Ukraine. The EU Commission is unlikely to waive any conditions.
A spokesperson for the EU Commission said, “We can reasonably expect any steps we take to be challenged at court” and that they would be reviewing the “quality” of efforts by the countries to comply with the EU Commission’s demands as opposed to their “speed.”
The statement suggests that Poland is unlikely to comply with the demands and that the EU Commission is gearing up for more legal fighting with Poland and Hungary to ensure compliance with what the EU Commission decide are “EU values.”