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Court of Justice Action against Hungary for breach of fundamental values mounts as think tank MCC Brussels condemns the move as “an intolerant violation of the norms of democracy and freedom”.

Date

13 Mar 2023

Sections

Global Europe

A Hungarian Law that bans the publication of material directed at children that promotes LGBTQ material in any media related to children’s education has led the EU Commission to refer Hungary to the European Court of Justice. 

This is the first time a Member State has been referred to the Court of Justice for a potential breach of fundamental EU values in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union and will set a precedent for future conflicts between the values of the EU and individual nations.

Frank Furedi, Executive Director of MCC Brussels, said 

“Hungary is a sovereign nation with an elected Government, which is entitled to decide on educational policy for the children of its families. It is legitimate for individual countries to expect to raise their citizens according to their social and cultural norms. No nation should be forced to embrace the ideological premise of identity politics. The institutions of the EU have no moral or legal authority over managing family life, parenting and children's education.” 

The Hungarian Government believes its law protects children from exposure to potentially disorienting propaganda. It is seriously concerned about the sexualisation of childhood. Officials indicate that, in particular, they wish to shield children from the influence of the trans-gender ideology promoted in Anglo-American schools – which has led pre-pubescent pupils in some UK schools to participate in masturbation lessons and to be taught that there are 100 genders.

In contrast, the Commission believes providing children with publications and resources promoting transgender ideology and homosexuality is a fundamental human right. 

Frank Furedi said:

“It is not up to Brussels to interfere and question the strategy that the Government of a nation-state adopts towards the socialisation and education of its children. The European Commission’s assertion that the law ‘discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity’ is based on the erroneous assumption that the absence of LGBTQ-related material in the curriculum, by definition, discriminates against a section of young people. According to this logic, the curriculum aims not so much to educate but to validate every form of sexual identity. From the worldview of identity politics, this is an understandable stance to take. From the standpoint of an authoritative orientation to pedagogy, the task of schools is to educate children rather than to validate their sexual identity.

“It is, of course, entirely legitimate to criticise Hungary’s law and to call into question its assumptions. But it is illegitimate to usurp the right of the Hungarian Government to implement laws that affect children's education. No outside body or institution has the competence or authority to question an elected Government’s laws about teaching childhood. And certainly, according to the principle of subsidiarity, ‘family matters should be left to the competencies of the nation state’. It is the advocates of the infringement procedures against Hungary who are violating the spirit of Article 2.“

 

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