“We must continue the fight against discrimination against the LGBT community and reaffirm our defense of their fundamental rights,” the letter said. The letter is addressed to European Council President Charles Michel, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, whose country currently chairs the Council. “Respect and tolerance are at the heart of the European project. We want to continue this effort and ensure the growth of future European generations in an atmosphere of equality and respect,” the statement read.
There is no place for hatred, intolerance and discrimination in our union.
That is why we stand up for diversity and equal rights for the LGBTI community today and every day, so that our future generations can grow up in an equal and respectful Europe. pic.twitter.com/UW30V9w1Gf
– Alexandre de Croo June 24, 2021
Hungary was not mentioned by name in the letter and although the contested law is not officially on the summit agenda, it will be brought up by many leaders today. Several member states have already asked the Commission to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice, and their request has been heard. Commission President von der Leyen called the law a “disgrace” on Wednesday and already announced he would submit his legal objections to Budapest before the law enters into force.
In addition to the controversial law, International LGBT Pride Day on June 28 will be cause for message. It will be a day to remember that we are diverse and tolerant societies, committed to the free and personal development of all our citizens, including their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The absence is obvious
Alexander de Croo signed the letter for our country, the other 15 signatures come from: Mette Frederiksen (Prime Minister of Denmark), Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), Kaja Kallas (Prime Minister of Estonia), Michel Martin (Prime Minister of Ireland), Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Prime Minister of Greece), Pedro Sanchez (Prime Minister of Spain), Emmanuel Macron (President of France), Mario Draghi (Prime Minister of Italy), Nicos Anastasiades (President of Cyprus), Krisjanis Karenz (Prime Minister of the Czech Republic) Latvia), and Xavier Bettel (Prime Minister of Luxembourg). ), Robert Abela (Prime Minister of Malta), Mark Rutte (Prime Minister of the Netherlands), Sanna Marin (Prime Minister of Finland), and Stefan Lofven (Prime Minister of Sweden).
Portuguese Prime Minister Costa does not sign the letter. Earlier this week, he invoked his neutrality as interim president of the European Union. In addition to his signature, the signatures of the leaders of Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria and Lithuania have also disappeared.
Yesterday, Austria and Lithuania agreed on a statement urging the commission to take action. The statement was written on a Belgian initiative and published on June 22 with 13 signatures. After the Council of European Affairs, Italy, Greece, Austria and Cyprus decided to join. At the moment, 17 countries are behind the message: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Latvia, Italy, Greece, Austria and Cyprus. Malta has not yet signed the letter, but it does share the new message from European leaders.
I am happy to say tonight that four other countries of the European Union have decided to join our call to defend European values, and thus protect #LGBTIQ rights in Europe. 🇪🇺 #love is love https://t.co/ZOOwZjEgib
– Sophie Wilmes (@Sophie_Wilmes) June 23, 2021
Foreign Minister Sophie Velmis (MR) previously announced on her website how she views the new law. “The new Hungarian legislation undermines the core values of the Europe that we stand for. Our country has put together a joint statement that is a clear call to action. I am glad to see that sixteen member states have wanted to join us. The Union of Values is not an a la carte. We have a collective responsibility to protect the rights of all citizens The European Union, which is why we have a duty to make our voices heard and respond when these rights and our values are undermined.”