The European Parliament (EP) has demanded this Thursday that Brussels does not approve Hungary’s access to the post-pandemic recovery plans, of which they correspond around 7,000 million euros, until it is verified that the Union budget does not go to “actively contribute to the violation of fundamental rights in Hungary”.
In a resolution approved this Thursday by 459 votes in favor, 147 against and 58 abstentions, the European Parliament also calls on the European Commission to undertake “immediate” legal action regarding the law that links homosexuality with pedophilia and prohibits talking about sexual identity in schools and the media. Within the European People’s Party, 12 of the 13 Spanish PP MEPs have abstained, despite the fact that the majority of their group has voted in favor. Only Esteban González Pons, vice president of the European popular group, has voted in favor.RELATED
The rule, which comes into force this Thursday, was already the subject of a heated debate at the leaders’ summit last June and has been a turning point in the tug of war between Budapest and Brussels for their compliance with the values community, which has lasted for several years.
This law, MEPs say, “is not an isolated case, but another deliberate and premeditated example of the gradual dismantling of fundamental rights in Hungary.” “Disinformation campaigns and LGBTIQ-phobia organized and promoted by the state have become tools of political censorship in the hands of the Hungarian government,” they warn.
The Commission is already working on the opening of this infringement procedure after its president, Ursula von der Leyen, warned this Wednesday that Brussels would use all the means at its disposal in the face of this new challenge from Budapest to the principles of the State of community law.
Regarding the 7,000 million euros to which Hungary would access through the recovery plan, MEPs ask the Commission to “carefully analyze” each measure of the reform plan presented by the Government of Viktor Orbán to access these funds and “that only approve it if it is found that it will not contribute to the application of the “anti LGTBIQ + law.”
“And, therefore, that the Union budget does not actively contribute to the violation of fundamental rights in Hungary,” they add.
Although it has not yet made any official decision on this plan, one of the prerequisites for Brussels to give its approval is that the national plans address “all or a significant part” of the recommendations made to each of the Member states.
In the case of Hungary, these are recommendations in the area of compliance with the rule of law, the fight against corruption, judicial independence, access to public information and greater vigilance over public procurement.
The European Parliament also urges the Commission to immediately activate the conditionality mechanism that in certain cases links obtaining Community funds with compliance with European values, created at the end of 2020.
The requirement to activate this mechanism is that the violation of these principles affects in a sufficiently direct way the proper use of European money or the financial interests of the European Union, an extreme that, according to a report commissioned by a group of MEPs from various experts and university professors.
According to the report, Hungary “cannot be a trusted administrator for European funds” until it solves its problems in areas such as the transparent management of this financing, the absence of an effective national prosecutor’s office and the lack of guarantees of judicial independence.