Europe

17 EU leaders call for respect for “core values”

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Deemed discriminatory by a majority of European Union countries, the recent Hungarian law on sexual minorities led 17 member countries, including France, Germany, Spain and Italy, to question EU representatives and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the need to uphold European values. A text made public a few hours before a European summit.

In a joint letter posted on social networks, the leaders of these 17 EU countries addressed the heads of the European institutions and the UN on Thursday, June 24.

Without mentioning Hungary – a member of the European Union – nor its Prime Minister Viktor Orban, this letter comes after the adoption of a controversial law by the Parliament of this country. It deplores the “threats against fundamental rights and in particular the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation” and recalls “the attachment to our common fundamental values, enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty “.


“We must continue to fight against discrimination against the LGBTI community by reaffirming our defense of their fundamental rights. Respect and tolerance are at the heart of the European project”, continues the text, published a few hours before a European summit in Brussels where the subject should come to the discussion table.

The letter, addressed to EU leaders Charles Michel (President of the European Council, representing the Twenty-Seven) and Ursula von der Leyen (Commission) as well as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, follows a statement Similar published Tuesday at the initiative of Belgium, on the occasion of a meeting of the European affairs ministers of the Twenty-Seven in Luxembourg.

“Deep concern”

The statement expressed “deep concern over the adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of amendments that discriminate against LGBTQI people and violate the right to freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting children”. It was supported by 17 capitals in total, according to a final count Wednesday evening.

The signatories of Thursday’s letter are the leaders of the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Finland and Sweden.

The Austrian Prime Minister is missing, but his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel said on Twitter that Sebastian Kurz “also joined us this morning with his signature”.

Hungarian law provides that “pornography and content that depicts sexuality or promotes gender identity deviation, sex reassignment and homosexuality must not be accessible to those under the age of 18”.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Tuesday rejected European criticism and denounced “fake news”. He claimed that this law “was not directed against any community in Hungary (but) only against pedophiles”.

With AFP

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