The EU is able to “go to court” if Hungary goes ahead with its controversial legislation banning the portrayal of homosexuality to minors, Didier Reynders, the European justice commissioner, stated Thursday.
Reynders’ remarks supplied extra readability on the Commission’s technique to tackle Hungary over the difficulty, a day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s vowed to battle the legislation. Speaking to reporters at a gathering of liberal leaders previous to the EU leaders’ summit, Reynders stated the EU was able to launch “an infringement procedure” in opposition to Hungary if wanted, a course of that would finish with Hungary going through monetary penalties.
The invoice, handed final week within the Hungarian meeting, has sparked outrage throughout Europe. Von der Leyen on Wednesday known as it a “shame” and stated she was sending a letter to Hungarian authorities outlining the Commission’s view. On Thursday morning, 17 European countries endorsed a name to “continue fighting against discrimination towards the LGBTI community,” asking the Commission to behave.
The Commission’s first step got here when Reynders and Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the inner market, despatched their letter to Judith Varga, Hungary’s justice minister, asking for clarifications to a invoice they see as violating European values and authorized texts.
Reynders on Thursday stated he would first wait till “the end of the month” to get a solution to the letter. “Following the answer at the end of this month, we will decide to go to the court or not, but I am sure we have a real issue with discrimination,” he added.
If Hungary stands by the legislation, the Commission is ready to launch an infringement process. “The main tool would be the infringement procedure before the court” requesting Hungary spike the legislation, Reynders stated.
Should Hungary not adjust to that request, the case might go to the Court of Justice of the European Union, which might then rule that Hungary should annul or amend the legislation — and impose a monetary penalty if Budapest doesn’t obey.
Reynders added that there have been different “tools” the Commission might use in opposition to Hungary, starting from smaller actions — criticizing the nation within the Commission’s subsequent report on the rule of legislation in Europe — to bigger ones — withholding pandemic restoration funds by means of a brand new rule-of-law finances mechanism.
“We have different tools and we are using the different tools,” Reynders stated.
Reynders’ feedback mark an additional escalation of tensions between Brussels and Budapest, that are already locked in a fierce battle over Hungary’s democratic backsliding.
The EU has began Article 7 disciplinary proceedings in opposition to Hungary over its considerations, however the course of has been stalled for years. Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has argued that Brussels shouldn’t intrude in nationwide political selections, which he says ought to have primacy over EU legislation, and blasted what he calls the “Sovietization” of the EU.