EU to take legal action against Hungary’s anti-pedophilia bill
BRUSSELS, June 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the European Union will take initial steps against a Hungarian anti-pedophilia bill that bans promotion of LGBT ideology to children.
“I’ve instructed my responsible commissioners to write a letter to the Hungarian authorities concerning or expressing our legal concerns before the bill enters into force,” she said, though she did not announce other specific measures. Justice commissioner Didier Reynders and market commissioner Thierry Breton will be preparing the letter to Hungary, according to POLITICO.
Hungary’s sweeping new anti-pedophilia law prohibits showing pornographic content or depictions of homosexuality or transgenderism to minors under 18. It includes other child protection provisions, like regulations on sexual education, tougher rules against child pornography, and the creation of a new sex offender registry.
Von der Leyen called the bill “a shame,” claiming it “goes against all the values, the fundamental values of the European Union.” “So, I will use all the powers of the Commission to ensure that the rights of all EU citizens are guaranteed,” she added. Her comments made no mention of the religious and political rights of majority-Christian Hungary, whose conservative supermajority in parliament passed the child protection bill with a wide majority last Tuesday.
The European Commission’s initial action comes as left-wing governments of several European states clamor for retaliation against Hungary. 17 countries have joined a letter initiated by Belgium calling on the Commission to take Hungary to the European Court of Justice, if necessary, to negate the anti-pedophilia bill, the Belgian government announced yesterday. Historically Catholic Ireland, Italy, and Spain have joined the statement, as have France and Germany.
If Budapest ignores the European Commission’s letter, the Commission can start an infringement procedure to try to stop the bill once it takes effect. If the Hungarian government then refuses to comply, Hungary could be tried in the Court of Justice and could face financial sanctions.
The European Union already has begun Article 7 proceedings against both Hungary and Poland, which have the potential to strip the countries of their EU voting rights. European ministers were slated to meet with officials from the two conservative Eastern European nations regarding the sanctions procedure on Tuesday, EUobserver reported.