Press release: LGBTI Intergroup calls on Member States and the European Parliament to join CJEU case against Hungary on the rights of LGBTIQ people
Brussels, 14 February 2023
On 19 December 2022, the European Commission brought legal action against Hungary concerning ‘Law LXXIX of 2021 adopting stricter measures against persons convicted of paedophilia and amending certain laws for the protection of children’. This action follows the announcement, on 15 July 2022, that the infringement procedure against Hungary would proceed to the Court of Justice of the EU.
On 13 February, Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, announced Belgium would intervene before the Court to defend LGBTIQ rights in Hungary. Referring to the statement signed by 18 Member States in 2021, the communication claims the move is “a logical follow-up to the 2021 statement”. Minister Lahbib stated: “Our country has the firm ambition to continue playing a pioneering role both nationally and internationally.” The Luxembourgish Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, later confirmed to Agence France Presse that Luxembourg would also join the proceedings.
Malin Bjork MEP (Left), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup and LEFT Shadow Rapporteur on the Article 7 procedure concerning Hungary, comments:
We strongly welcome both Belgium’s and Luxembourg’s initiative to join the proceedings against Hungary at the Court and commend the determination of both countries in enacting their 2021 promise. These strong commitments highlight that the fight for human rights, especially those of LGBTIQ people, are high on the political agenda, in a time when we continue to see attacks on LGBTI rights. We call on the remaining 16 Member States who signed the 2021 statement to join the case and to contribute to making this one of the most important human rights case of this mandate.
Pierre Karleskind MEP (Renew Europe), Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup and Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs, concludes:
The role of governments in this matter is key, but so is that of the Parliament as such. This Parliament was key in calling on the Commission to act back in 2021, and it can continue to be key in 2023 by joining the proceedings. I have therefore officially requested, through the Committee on Legal Affairs, the intervention of the European Parliament in the case. I am convinced this can be a landmark moment for the European Union.
On 15 July 2021, the Commission initiated infringement procedures against Hungary due to the ‘anti-LGBTIQ’ law adopted in the Hungarian Parliament.
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 15 July 2022, the European Commission published its July infringement package, which included the decision to bring 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.
 CJEU, Action brought on 19 December 2022 — European Commission v Hungary (Case C-769/22) (2023/C 54/19), accessible at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A62022CN0769.
 Press release (22 June 2021), “Eighteen countries unite at Belgium’s initiative to defend LGBTIQ rights in Europe”, accessible at https://www.sophiewilmes.be/en/thirteen-countries-unite-at-belgiums-initiative-to-defend-lgbtiq-rights-in-europe.
 Press Release (13 February 2023), “Belgium’s intervention before the EUCJ to defend LGBTQI+ rights in Hungary”, accessible at https://lahbib.belgium.be/en/belgiums-intervention-eucj-defend-lgbtqi-rights-hungary.
 RTL (14 February 2023), “Belgique et Luxembourg s’associent au recours contre la Hongrie, accessible at https://5minutes.rtl.lu/actu/monde/a/2030108.html.
 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.
 European Commission (15 July 2022), “July infringements package: key decisions”, accessible at https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_22_3768.
 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.