Until 2019, Timmermans oversaw EU countries’ relations with democracy and the rule of law as European Commissioner. He challenged Hungary and Poland, among others, in European courts and became their bogeyman. Due to a new Hungarian law that threatens to put gays and transgender people at a standstill, the issue is once again attracting a lot of attention.
Since Timmermans is no longer in charge of the rule of law but of the climate, the committee is wrongly showing more patience, he believes. “My successors who say: more dialogue, Timmermans went to court too quickly,” said the Dutch commissioner in the political talk show Buitenhof. “Well, I think we’ve figured it out now: we need to get to court faster. No more slowly.
“The voters win”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “attacks homosexuals” because he thinks he will win voters in this way, suspects Timmermans. He has been the subject of strong criticism from almost all other EU leaders, notes the PvdA member with satisfaction. But “we shouldn’t just focus on this topic. We also need to make sure that the other things it does, that we approach it accordingly. “
The European Commission calls the new Hungarian law, which should prevent children from coming into contact with homosexuality and gender reassignment at school or through books and films, as “discriminatory”. She has already threatened Hungary with legal action if the country proceeds. The law is now in force.
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