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The European Union is threatening to hold back millions of euros —$150 million — in cohesion funding to local areas in Poland due to their declarations and stances against LGBTQ ideology.
As Bloomberg reported, “The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, sent letters to the governors of the provinces last week warning that if the resolutions weren’t rescinded the money would be withheld, according to Polish media reports and confirmed by an official with knowledge of the situation.”
“The frozen funds are from the bloc’s React-EU program, which was launched after the coronavirus pandemic to aid recovery efforts. The country’s full allocation is more than 1.5 billion euros,” the outlet explained.
Several areas and towns in Poland have said that they are “free of LGBTQ ideology” in order to reportedly push back on allowing events like pride parades from occurring in their areas.
The outlet reported that as of the middle of last year, “almost a third of municipalities in the Catholic country of 38 million people had adopted the declaration — often after lobbying from ultra-conservative groups.” Multiple courts in Poland have reportedly said that the acts are unconstitutional.
As reported by The Hill, “A spokesperson for the Commission confirmed to The Hill that it sent letters to the provinces on Friday, warning them to comply with the agency’s formal notice sent July 15.”
In July, the European Commission released a statement saying it was “launching infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland related to the equality and the protection of fundamental rights.”
“In relation to Poland, the Commission considers that Polish authorities failed to fully and appropriately respond to its inquiry regarding the nature and impact of the so-called ‘LGBT-ideology free zones’ resolutions adopted by several Polish regions and municipalities,” the statement explained.
The Commission also took issue with Hungary’s actions earlier this year to pass a law that prohibits showing LGBT and transgender content to minors.
The July statement explained:
On 23 June 2021, Hungary published a law that lays down a number of restrictive and discriminatory measures; in particular, it prohibits or limits access to content that propagates or portrays the so-called ‘divergence from self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality’ for individuals under 18.
It added that the two Member States had “two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send them a reasoned opinion and in a further step refer them to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, lawmakers in Hungary passed a law earlier this year that would prohibit showing LGBT and transgender content to minors as part of legislation to combat pedophilia.
The bill reportedly primarily centered on combatting pedophilia by increasing sentences for sex crimes committed against children. It also established a public database of sex offenders, per The New York Times. However, it had amendments “that ban the representation of any sexual orientation besides heterosexual as well as gender change information in school sex education programs, or in films and advertisements aimed at anyone under 18,” according to NPR.
As The Daily Wire reported, however, Hungary faced backlash from members of the European Union after passing the law that many called discriminatory.
“Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Ireland were among European Union countries” speaking out against Hungary on Tuesday for its new law on LGBT content, as Reuters reported at the time.
“The new law banning the ‘display and promotion of homosexuality’ among under-18s clearly violates European Union values, Germany’s European affairs minister said ahead of talks with his 27 EU counterparts about deep concerns that Hungary and Poland violate the rule of law by trampling the freedoms of courts, academics and media, as well as restricting the rights of women, migrants and minorities,” the outlet said.
Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the time that the legislation was only directed at pedophiles.
“The law protects the children in a way that it makes it an exclusive right of the parents to educate their kids regarding sexual orientation until the age of 18,” he said. “This law doesn’t say anything about sexual orientation of adults.”