July 25, 2021

Emmanuel Macron calls for countering “the rise of illiberalism” in Europe

At the end of a European summit where the new Hungarian law against the “promotion of homosexuality among minors” provoked a lively debate, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, warned, Friday, June 25, about the need to to counter “The rise of illiberalism” in Europe, without criticizing the champion of this current, the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban. “It is a cultural, civilizational battle that we must wage” face au “Recoil in minds and mentalities” companies in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere, declared the French head of state in Brussels. “It’s not an Orban problem, it’s a deeper problem”, he long defended, noting “An East-West division” on the question of European values.

Read also the editorial of the “World”: The rule of law, better protection for LGBT rights in Europe

Since coming to power in 2010, the “Victor”, as its critics call it, is working to build a democracy “Illiberal” and attacked the independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press and the rights of minorities, recently those of the LGBT community. A trend that has also affected Poland since 2015. But, according to Laurent Pech, professor of European law at Middlesex University in London, “It’s not a civilizational or cultural issue. To say that is to play Viktor Orban’s game. We have here an authoritarian drift that uses societal questions to hide and distract people from the dismantling of the rule of law and democracy ”.

Refusal to link “values ​​and money”

Other European leaders did not hesitate to speak harshly towards their Hungarian counterpart, whose ultraconservative party Fidesz adopted, on June 15, a law prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality among minors”, within the framework of an arsenal to protect children from pedophilia and pornography. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte went so far as to invite Orban to activate Article 50 of the EU Treaty, which provides for a voluntary and Union withdrawal mechanism, if the rules do not suit him .

When asked about this, Chancellor Angela Merkel – from the powerful European People’s Party, which did not part with Fidesz until March 2021 – kicked in touch. Mr. Macron, for his part, felt that the answer does not lie in the departure of Hungary from the EU, which would risk pushing citizens to “To feel closer to the values ​​of Russian anti-liberals, even Chinese”. Just as he rejected the idea of ​​tying “Values ​​and money” within the European framework, since “Europe is constitutionally, ontologically attached to these values”.

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