Brussels cracks down on LGBT discrimination

The European Commission has launched three infringement actions for discrimination. Two are against Hungary for its "anti-paedophilia law" and compulsory labelling of books depicting new gender roles. One is against Poland after some of its regions and municipalities declared themselves "LGBT-ideology free zones". Commentators see a dispute that has been simmering for some time coming to a head.

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El Mundo (ES) /

Moral compass at stake

El Mundo explains why Brussels must not give in:

“Not taking action against the authoritarian aberrations of the governments of both countries would have been tantamount to colluding in the destruction of the moral foundations of the European community. For more than an ongoing process of political and economic integration, the EU is above all a community of values based on tolerance, freedom and equality. The red lines must be very clear. ... The EU's moral compass is at stake in this confrontation.”

Polityka (PL) /

EU growing weary of Poland

Warsaw is increasingly moving to the sidelines of Europe, Polityka warns:

“Poland under Kaczyński is increasingly seen in EU circles as the 'sick man' of the bloc. It's difficult for the European public to understand and accept the extreme Euroscepticism of the current ruling camp. lt will soon grow weary of such a Poland.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

In defence of sovereignty

For the pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet the outcome of the dispute is still completely open:

“These two countries, led by right-wing governments, have not given up the fight to defend their sovereignty. The latest decision of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal in the case of the controversial judicial reform provides huge support and ammunition for this fight. The court ruled that national law can take precedence over EU law. This statement has a similar significance to the ruling of the German Constitutional Court last year in which the court came to the same conclusion regarding the ECB's bond-buying programme.”

Népszava (HU) /

Smear campaign would be a cinch

Népszava sees dark clouds on the horizon:

“It is to be feared that for the populist political leaders, preserving their power takes precedence over everything else. They would even withdraw from the European community - and thus forego the opportunity for their country to develop further. ... Today the majority of the population [in Hungary] is still in favour of the EU. But with a successful propaganda campaign the section of the population that stays 'informed' exclusively through government media could easily be turned against Brussels.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

This will end in withdrawal

Sovereigntist secessions in Europe are inevitable, says La Repubblica:

“The governments of Poland and Hungary have embarked on a path that has as its goal the incompatibility of the two countries with the EU. ... For once the EU institutions, the Court of Justice, the Commission and the Parliament, have defended the legal and political principles of the EU with vigour. It is unlikely that points of mediation will be found in this clash, also because the other national leaders clearly demonstrated their impatience with Budapest and Warsaw at the last summit. The crisis, which has been latent for years, has come to a head after the Polish and Hungarian governments persuaded the parties of the European far right to sign a charter of values that calls into question the very sovereignty of the EU.”