Stephen van Heck: ‘The only way is to hit Hungary financially’

Yesterday (and still today) a European summit was held in Brussels. It deals primarily with immigration, and Hungary’s controversial anti-LGBTI legislation is not officially on the agenda, but the issue was discussed last night. Last night, Prime Minister de Croo responded in front of the camera that almost all member states had condemned Hungary, and noted that this consensus was “invisible”.

“It was an emotional meeting, the support was broader than I expected, it was the concern of more countries that drafted the first letter,” de Croo said. “The commission will now start a procedure to repeal the law. They will also analyze the Hungarian investment plan to make sure there are no projects they should cancel.”

Luxembourg Prime Minister Bettel, who is himself gay, reportedly opened the discussion with an emotional speech. He received support from Commission President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Alexander de Croo, who said that “being gay is not an option, but being anti-gay is”. Dutch Prime Minister Rutte reiterated his position before the meeting: “Why does Hungary not use the procedure provided for in Article 50 of the Treaty to leave the European Union, as the United Kingdom did?” , as has been said. Earlier he said that Hungary should eventually leave the European Union if the “impudent” government of Viktor Orban did not back down.

The goal is to bring Hungary to its knees

Rota appears to have been endorsed by the Portuguese Prime Minister. The Swedish prime minister is said to have said that Swedish taxpayers will not continue to pay countries that get these kinds of punches. Merkel called the law unacceptable, and French President Macron was said to have said Orban was close to Putin. And our Prime Minister, Alexandre de Croo (Open VLD), also called the law “backward,” he entered the top with a rainbow flag hung over his suit.

Rutte does not expect Hungarian Prime Minister Orban to relent quickly: “He’s rude, so he continues.” The goal now should be to get Urban “to his knees,” says Root. And if the Hungarian government doesn’t back down, the country won’t have “what to look for in the EU” as far as Pratt is concerned. “Can’t go on any longer.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban: “Do you want to repeal the law? No.”

The Hungarian government does not intend to repeal the law anytime soon. Immediately before the start of the European summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban received a series of questions from journalists, to which he often answered succinctly and succinctly. His criticism of other European leaders was “First read the law, then act.” He just claimed to be an advocate for gay rights. “In the communist period, homosexuality was punished. I fought for their freedom and rights.”

Read the law first, then respond

The day before yesterday, the Hungarian government had already responded to a statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling the law a “disgrace”. “I will use all the powers of the Commission to guarantee the rights of all citizens, no matter who you are and wherever you are.” In turn, the Hungarian government called von der Leyen’s response a “disgrace”, “because it is based on false accusations”.

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The law is not discriminatory, and Hungary keeps repeating that, it is only intended to protect children’s rights. According to the Hungarian government, the law is also based on Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. According to Hungary, von der Leyen is guilty of having “a biased political opinion without first conducting an impartial investigation”.

17 European leaders write a letter

Earlier yesterday, Hungary was also the number one topic of discussion in European circles. Following the joint statement of 16 European foreign ministers, 17 government leaders and heads of state wrote a letter yesterday, just before the summit, to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.

The 17 suspended their message in celebration of International LGBT Pride Day, June 28. “In view of the threats against fundamental rights and in particular the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, we express our commitment to our common core values, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.”

They write that the past few years have come a long way in upholding these principles. “We believe that these principles are the basis of the European Union,” he added. The 17 leaders urged the committee and council chairs that “we must continue to fight discrimination against the LGBT community.” Respect and tolerance are at the heart of the European project.

The letter was signed by the heads of government of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and the presidents of France and Cyprus. Then it became known that the Chancellor of Austria would also sign the letter. And according to de Croo, many countries backed the letter yesterday.

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Also criticism outside the EU summit

Hungarian legislation was not only criticized at the European summit. Dutch European Commissioner Frans Timmermans also made a statement during a debate in the European Parliament on climate law. “Being gay is not a choice, it’s who you are. Being a narrow-minded bigot is a choice, a choice no one should make.”

As UN chief Antonio Guterres stressed during a visit to Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo yesterday that “it is very clear that all forms of discrimination are unacceptable.” “This cannot be tolerated in any way.”

Van Heck: “Money is the only language Urban understands”

Last night there was a long meeting at the EU summit in Brussels, in particular about the controversial law in Hungary that prohibits talking about homosexuality in front of children. Yesterday, over dinner, European Union leaders met each other for the first time, and Orban was reportedly standing alone. But can the EU do something against the EU?

“The primary task of the European Commission is to check whether member states comply with EU law. They can initiate a procedure, first internally by consultation. But if that does not work, they can also bring a member state to the European Court of Justice, which can then sanction a member state, financially Also,” says the professor of European politics Stephen Van Heck From the beach in “The Morning.”

Hungary cannot even be taken out of the European Union by a unanimous vote

“The only language Urban understands is the language of money,” says Van Heck. In his opinion, it is good for the commission to analyze investment plans in Hungary. Professor Van Heck said: “We know that money often ends up in the wrong pockets in Hungary, I think control is necessary anyway, you don’t really need all the fuss for it. I doubt it will help much.”

Expecting a miracle is “cheap”. Only heads of government calm their conscience with it


Professor Van Heck believes that both Hungary and European government leaders are not immune to hypocrisy in this discussion. If Hungary had other ideas, they should leave, Van Heck reasons. “He is interested in the money of what he calls the ‘degenerate West,’ because that could distort his system. But he is not ready to embrace the principles of those same Europe.”

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But the European Union is also a hypocrite. “This is not the first time that action has been taken against member states that do not take democracy seriously, but it has never worked. So expecting a miracle solution from the commission is ‘cheap’. At best, heads of government soften their decisions. Conscientiousness with them. , but they know those actions and actions can take a long time. In the meantime, the law is in effect and homosexuals must go back to the coffers.”

do more

Van Heck doesn’t think it’s wrong to launch these breach actions now, but member states should “sweep more for their doors”. “If we’re really serious and not just a PR show, then the member states should do something.” Has Minister Willems already called the Hungarian ambassador to the hall? Did de Croo really warn active business leaders in Hungary? Did our tourist offices warn our tourists when they go to Budapest? ‘ asked Van Heck out loud. I don’t think tourists or businesses should be active anymore, but these are the signals that come to Budapest, because they feel it in a wallet.”

Member states must sweep their doors

According to Van Hecke, Orbán is not easy to like and more will be needed. “We know him now, he’s in some tension now, but I’m still skeptical (…) we can’t ask Hungary to leave the EU, even in a unanimous vote, which would never happen because Poland and Slovenia support it, a member states that can’t force any Someone to leave. You can only do it – as with Brexit – on your own.”

Hear the conversation with Stephen Van Heck, lecturer in European politics at KULeuven, on “The Morning” on Radio 1 Select.

Source: On ‘the morning’

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