Rule of Law: Article 7 discussions shows urgent need for action
Today, EU Ministers discussed the Article 7 procedures for failings on the rule of law against the governments of Hungary and Poland in the General Affairs Council. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for the Council to come out with recommendations for both Hungary and Poland on how to improve the situation around the rule of law. Last week the Hungarian Parliament passed a law targeting the LGBTIQ community, which would ban the teaching of education and literature, advertisements and other materials, deemed by the government to be promoting LGBTIQ rights, under the guise of "protecting children".
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur on the situation in Hungary, comments:
"Hearings in the General Affairs Council every couple of years is not enough to solve the rule of law crisis in the EU. It's time for the Member States to come forward with clear recommendations with deadlines to act for Hungary and Poland, to show that the Council can be a serious and constructive partner on the rule of law. The failure of EU governments to act on what's happening in Hungary and Poland is tantamount to accepting defeat in the fight for European values. Every Council member needs to show that they willing to stand up to the rights and values their countries have signed up for under the EU treaties.
"The Hungarian government is deliberately targeting the LGBTIQ community on order to scapegoat them. First they attacked migrants and refugees, then it was opposition parties and now it's the LGBTIQ community. So long as the Council fails to act the Hungarian government will be able to continue its attacks on the rule of law and fundamental rights with impunity."
Terry Reintke MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on Poland in the LIBE Committee, comments:
"Every day, the rights of women, LGBTIQ people and minorities are under attack in both Hungary and Poland. There is no time to lose, attacks on democracy and the rule of law cannot be undone overnight and will have lasting impacts on people in both countries for years to come. The rule of law cannot be left to linger as an afterthought in the Council. It is the responsibility of all European governments to ensure that democracy does not disappear in their fellow EU Member States.
"The spat over lighting the Allianz Arena in Munich with the rainbow flag, shows that we cannot not let our European institutions bow to homophobia, in the way that UEFA has. The Council must address the new anti-LGBTIQ law passed last week in Hungary as well as anti-LGBTIQ resolutions in place across Poland. Attacks on the LGBTIQ community are attacks against fundamental rights and must be included in the Commission's progress reports on the rule of law. The Commission has tools it can use in to hold countries to account over the rule of law, but they are failing to use them. The Commission must show that it is serious on the rule of law by activating the rule of law conditionality."
This Thursday, the Parliament will vote on the Commission’s 2020 Rule of law report.
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