The French president has said he is not in favor of kicking Hungary out of the EU, despite leader Viktor Orban’s concerning new law banning the promotion of LGBT rights to school-aged children.
Speaking on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the EU could use the judicial powers available to it to punish Hungary for its new law which prohibits schools from using materials that are perceived to promote homosexuality, but he said he did not want to kick Hungary out.
“It’s an existential question for Europeans, it’s a big debate. I’m not in favor of using the Article 50 (initiating an exclusion from the EU)”, Macron told a news conference.
Macron’s comment comes after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday that Viktor Orban must respect LGBT rights or leave the European Union. Hungary “has no business being in the European Union anymore,” he stated, adding that “the long-term aim is to bring Hungary to its knees on this issue.”
The EU has expressed its displeasure at Orban’s new anti-LGBT law, which was passed on June 15, saying it is not in keeping with European values. While the law appears to focus on increasing punishment for convicted pedophiles, it also stipulates that homosexuality cannot be portrayed or promoted to under 18s.
Orban has insisted that the law is misunderstood, stating: “This is not against homosexuality. It’s about the right of the kids and the parents.”
Hungary and the EU have been at loggerheads throughout 2021, with Budapest taking the European Commission to court over a stipulation linking access to European funds with upholding the rule of law.
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