The European Commission Friday announced that it will sue Hungary in the EU’s Court of Justice over an anti-LGBT Hungarian law and Hungary’s refusal to allow a dissident radio station to broadcast.
Hungary adopted a law in June 2021 that prevents companies from featuring LGBTQ couples in educational or advertising content intended for children. The legislation was swiftly condemned by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who later initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary last July. Infringement proceedings result in a referral to the EU Court of Justice if countries are not complying with EU law or Commission requests.
The Commission’s case also concerns Hungary’s refusal to renew broadcaster Klubradio’s license, taking them off the air. Infringement proceedings were launched against Hungary in July 2021. The Commission said Hungary’s rationale for the denial rested on “highly questionable grounds,” and “the decisions of the Hungarian Media Council to refuse renewal of Klubradio’s rights were disproportionate and non-transparent and thus in breach of EU law.” Klubradio is highly critical of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, and some have viewed the refusal to renew its license as a politically-motivated attack on press freedom.
Hungary is being sued on the basis of violating the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, e-Commerce Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, among other things. The Commission says that Hungary violates many of these directives due to its regulations being discriminatory and unjustified.
This dispute between the European Commission and Hungary is indicative of growing tension in the EU where states such as Hungary and Poland have come under fire for the passage of anti-LGBT legislation.