Gergely Gulyás said that the EU’s attempt to link the disbursement of recovery funds to the issue of Hungary’s child protection law was “an extremely negative development”. The practice of linking unrelated issues would “bring the European Union to ruin”, the PM’s chief of staff said. Gulyás said Hungary and the EU had had disagreements in the past and would most likely have more in the future as well, adding that EU membership was in Hungary’s best interest nevertheless. “There are more arguments to be made for EU membership than against it.” He said talks on Hungary’s post-pandemic recovery plan had been so advanced that the European Commission president had already put in an informal request to visit Hungary, “which always happens after the agreement is signed”. “Hungary is prepared to discuss any further demands the EC may have, but this practice of linking unrelated issues will bring the EU to ruin because everyone will have some issue that someone else disagrees with and they’ll enforce their opposition in some other area,” Gulyás said. “That’s exactly what we’re seeing now, since the recovery fund has nothing to do with the child protection law.” “Hungarians are entitled to the monies in the recovery fund,” he said.
Concerning the contested legislation, Gulyás said that the government would not give up its position that sex education was up to the parents, adding that “when Brussels demands equality in sex education it actually means that we should allow LGBTQ activists into schools and kindergartens”. He said the press and advertisers weren’t allowed to depict content that could affect children’s sexual development. Gulyás said this debate was not limited to just Hungary, noting that the Vatican and the Italian state were also at odds over the curriculums of church-run schools. Europe will be seeing a lot more of these debates over the coming years, he said, adding that the Hungarian government was committed to protecting human dignity and did not want to interfere in the lives of adults.
Asked about the EC’s fresh infringement procedure against Hungary over the child protection law, Gulyás said the government would have to read it carefully before responding. He insisted the law was in line with the government’s goals and the interests of children, adding that child protection was a national competence. Gulyás said the government expects the law to provide better protection against paedophiles, adding that the planned register of paedophile offenders could be up and running by the autumn. He cited the EC’s 2020 LGBTQI strategy as evidence that LGBT rights organisations wanted to send activists to schools and kindergartens. Gulyás said that because the child protection law also pertained to the depiction of heterosexual content, it could just as well be called “heterophobic”.