Press release: European Commission takes Hungary to CJEU to settle fate of ‘anti-LGBTIQ propaganda law’

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Brussels, 15 July 2022

On 15 July 2022, the European Commission published its July infringement package.[1] Included in this package is the decision to take the Hungarian government to the Court of Justice of the EU over the breach of EU law upon adoption of its ‘anti-LGBTIQ propaganda law’ in June 2021.[2]

The Hungarian law made international headlines, crystalising the government’s policy to enact measures against LGBTIQ equality. By coupling the elections with the referendum on LGBTIQ issues, the government sought to detract legitimacy for its antagonist policies while benefitting from turnout to the polls. The referendum was fortunately invalidated by the voter’s insufficient turnout.

Taking Hungary to Court is the last step in the infringement procedures initiated by the Commission precisely one year ago, on 15 July 2021, after it had addressed a letter to the Hungarian government in June.[3]

Pierre Karleskind MEP (Renew Europe), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, comments:

This is historic. For the first time ever, the Commission took an LGBTI-related infringement procedure to Court, which shows that the matter is being taken seriously. Today’s decision also clarifies one thing: that any similar laws, like the one currently in discussion in Romania, will benefit from the same treatment. You can count on the Intergroup to make sure of that.

Terry Reinkte MEP (Greens-EFA), Co-Chair of the LGBTI Intergroup, concludes:

We felt in the last year the damaging effect this law had: on activists’ lives and (mental) health, on citizens’ well-being and trust in the state to protect their dignity, on institutions’ capacity to respect the rule of law. As LGBTI Intergroup, we have made sure that this remained a priority question for the Commission. We therefore wholeheartedly welcome this step. This infringement will once and for all clarify in legal terms that the Hungarian Law is an affront to our common acquis and EU law, and we look forward to the Decision of the CJEU.

Background information:

On 15 July 2021, the Commission initiated infringement procedures against Hungary due to the ‘anti-LGBTIQ’ law adopted in Parliament.[4]

On December 2021, the Commission sent a letter of reasoned opinion to the Hungarian government laying out the legal arguments that establish lack of compliance of the Hungarian law with EU law.

On 3 April 2022, the referendum held by the Hungarian government on LGBTIQ issues was categorically invalid, as it did not reach the minimum threshold of 50% for either answer to any of its four questions (‘yes’ or ‘no’).

On 27 April 2022, the Romanian Senate tacitly adopted a draft bill proposed by the Hungarian minority party UDMR. It aims at “protecting the child against the dissemination by any means of content regarding the deviation from the sex established at birth or the popularisation of sex change or homosexuality”, eerily resembling the Hungarian Law. The bill managed to gather a majority in the Human Rights Committee of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies’, further raising concerns on the propagating effect of the original Hungarian Law. The Intergroup addressed a letter to all the Members of the Chamber of Deputies laying out the reasons 


[1] European Commission (15 July 2022), “July infringements package: key decisions”, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_22_3768.

[2] European Commission (15 July 2022), “Commission refers HUNGARY to the Court of Justice of the EU over violation of LGBTIQ rights”, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_2689.

[3] European Commission (June 2021), Letter by Commissioners Didier Reynders and Thierry Breton to Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/api/files/attachment/869254/Letter%20by%20Commissioners%20Reynders%20and%20Breton.pdf.

[4] European Commission (15 July 2021), “EU founding values: Commission starts legal action against Hungary and Poland for violations of fundamental rights of LGBTIQ people”, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_3668.


Press contacts:

Office of Pierre Karleskind MEP – Victor Belaud (Victor.Belaud@europarl.europa.eu)

Office of Terry Reintke MEP – Katrin Matthaei (Katrin.Matthaei@europarl.europa.eu)

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