Judit Varga – Photo: BZT / Nóra Halász

Fidesz official: Hungarian people to decide on child protection in vote, not Brussels

Justice minister: EU cannot dictate how Hungarians should educate their children

The European Union cannot dictate how Hungarians should educate their children, according to EU treaties and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Thursday.

Varga said in a bilingual Facebook post that the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary in July. “They try to punish us only because we don’t let the LGBTQ lobby into Hungarian schools and kindergartens,” she said.

Hungary sent its reply to the EC’s formal notice to Thierry Breton, the Commissioner for Internal Market, detailing the Hungarian government’s position on the infringement procedure and the “material and professional errors” in the EC’s formal notice, Varga said.

Hungary will protect its culture, national identity and the family values deeply connected with those values, she said. “This right is guaranteed by both EU and international law.”

“We keep ensuring that only parents can decide how to raise their own child. No one can force them to let their child receiving sexual information without their approval or facing harmful content that is inappropriate for their age,” Varga said.

Sex education classes will be held by “by qualified personnel in the presence of a teacher,” she said.

“We reject categorically the assumption that the purpose of the law would be exclusion or discrimination, it is only about the upbringing of Hungarian children and the protection of minors. The law does not interfere in the life of adults in any way, it does not violate the rights of sexual minorities in any way,” Varga said.

Hungary’s fundamental law prohibits discrimination and exclusion of minorities, and Hungarian laws “strictly punish” such actions, she said.

Fidesz official: Hungarian people to decide on child protection in vote, not Brussels

The Hungarian people “will decide on the issue of child protection in a referendum, not Brussels,” Mate Kocsis, the head of the Fidesz parliamentary group, told a news conference on Thursday.

The government will not change its position on the issue of child protection, Kocsis said after a meeting of the ruling parties in Esztergom, in northern Hungary.

He insisted that Brussels was “blackmailing Hungary by withholding recovery money” and vowed to hold a popular vote “on these issues”.

“The Hungarian people will decide the matter,” the Fidesz politician said.

Referring to the government’s decision to fund programmes that would ordinarily receive EU monies until the funding is made available, he said it was “the right thing to launch our own programmes during the transition period.”

Kocsis said that at the group meeting Prime Minister Viktor Orban said central European countries were visibly doing better than the rest of the bloc in making an economic recovery, noting that Hungary’s economy was likely to grow by an annual 7 percent or more this year.

Kocsis said the healthy economy would likely enable the government to introduce extraordinary measures to help individuals and businesses.

Meanwhile, commenting on the 2022 general election campaign, he said the fact that Ferenc Gyurcsany, the former Socialist prime minister, was actively involved on the left would “fire up” the conservative base rather than discouraging it.

“Our historic mission is to settle accounts with the Gyurcsany era,” he said.

Fidesz MEPs slam initiative on making gender-based violence a crime under EU law

Ruling Fidesz MEPs said on Thursday that the European Parliament initiative on making gender-based violence a crime under EU law aims at “making it obligatory to accept the absurd idea that people are not born as men or women”.

Balazs Hidveghi and Livia Jaroka said in a joint statement: “It is especially sad that the EP’s left-wing majority is hiding behind the issue of violence against women in an effort to accomplish an ideologically motivated scheme.”

Hidveghi said the initiative uses the obscure term of gender-based violence in an effort to smuggle gender ideology into mandatory European Union regulation.

“The far-left and green rapporteurs of the legislative initiative are basically asking the European Commission something that several member states have already rejected in connection with the Istanbul Convention. They are using a legal procedure in order make the idea obligatory that people were not born men or women, and biological characteristics do not differentiate the two sexes,” he said.

Jaroka, a deputy speaker of the EP, said it was “utterly unacceptable” that they were hiding behind the protection of women and children in order to achieve their own ideological objectives.

“Our penal code is one of the strictest in Europe, giving special protections to women and children,” she said. “We are making every effort to ensure that the Hungarian network for prevention, victim assistance and victim protection developed in recent years should be of an outstandingly high standard,” she added.

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