European court is political instrument against Hungarian child protection, says minister

17-02-2022

Central Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga. Photo AFP, Attila Kisbenedek

Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit Varga, accuses the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of taking “politically motivated” decisions against the so-called Hungarian child protection law. Earlier, the CJEU ruled that funding to states that violate the rule of law can be cut.

The CJEU wants to be able to withhold European fundings from countries that do not comply with “the common values on which the European Union bases its trust in those states.” That is reported by Hungary Today. According to the CJEU, that compliance is a condition for receiving funds.

Hungarian Justice Minister Varga writes on Facebook that the decision shows that “Brussels is abusing its power.” She interprets the decision of the CJEU as “another way of putting pressure on Hungary for the amendments to its Child Protection Law, which was accepted last summer.” The European Union called the law discriminative against the LGBT community.

On April 3, a referendum will be held during which Hungarians can vote on the issue. Varga: “The bureaucratic elite (Brussels, ed.) refuses to accept Hungarians’ free decisions and opinions.”

“Rule-of-law jihad”

The CJEU stigmatises Hungary over its Child Protection Law, says the national ruling Fidesz party. It calls the decision of the CJEU a “months-long campaign of political revenge, which has been prepared in advance.” Hungary Today writes that the Fidesz party is convinced that the cut in funding is based on the Child Protection Law. “That is why this whole rule-of-law jihad was launched.”

The head of the Prime Minister’s office, Gergely Gulyás, reacts that Hungary considers the rule of law as a priority. “That is why the Child Protection Law is so important.” Gulyás argues that the choice for a referendum on the Child Protection Law shows that “Hungary attaches the greatest importance to the fundamental values of the rule of law.”

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