European Commission to sue Hungary for anti-LGBT discrimination and radio censorship – JURIST


The European Commission announced on Friday that it will take Hungary to the EU Court of Justice over a Hungarian anti-LGBT law and Hungary’s refusal to allow a dissident radio station to broadcast.

Hungary passed a law in June 2021 that prohibits companies from featuring LGBTQ couples in educational or advertising content aimed at children. The legislation has been quickly condemned by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who subsequently initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary last July. Infringement proceedings result in a referral to the Court of Justice of the EU if countries fail to comply with EU law or Commission requests.

The Commission’s case also concerns Hungary’s refusal to renew the license of broadcaster Klubradio, taking them off the air. Infringement proceedings were launched against Hungary in July 2021. The Commission said that Hungary’s justification for the refusal was based on “highly questionable grounds” and that “the decisions of the Hungarian Media Council to refuse the renewal Klubradio’s rights were disproportionate and non-transparent and therefore in breach of EU law Klubradio is highly critical of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government, and some have seen the refusal to renew its license as an attack politically motivated against freedom of the press.

Hungary is being sued for violating the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the E-Commerce Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, among others. The Commission claims that Hungary violates many of these directives because of its discriminatory and unjustified regulations.

This dispute between the European Commission and Hungary is indicative of growing tension in the EU where states such as Hungary and Poland have been criticized for passing anti-LGBT legislation.

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