Hungary is the only EU country not invited to Summit for Democracy

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US Ambassador debunks the Hungarian Foreign Ministry's claims on Democracy Summit

U.S. Ambassador David Pressman met Hungarian journalists on Wednesday where he also touched on the topic of U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming Summit for Democracy to which Hungary wasn't invited. Hungary was the only EU country that did not receive an invitation to the event in Washington.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry earlier commented on the missing invite with the following explanation: "Joe Biden does not invite Donald Trump's friends. Hungary disagrees with President Biden's policies on war, migration, and gender. On these issues, we agree with President Trump."

However, according to Ambassador Pressman, this is a misunderstanding, the invitation has nothing to do with a friendship with the former or current president, but rather with a government's commitment to democratic values. He gave an example: "The Hungarian government has recently extended the state of emergency again, so that the various states of emergency have been in place in Hungary for more than 2,547 days, during which time the government can pass laws by decree, bypassing the Hungarian parliament."

European Parliament joins lawsuit over Hungary's anti-LGBTQ law

The European Parliament's (EP) Legal Affairs Committee decided to join the European Commission's lawsuit against Hungary over its legal provisions violating LGBTQ rights, Hungarian daily, Nepszava reports. According to politico, nine member states ( Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain) have asked to join the Commission’s case over the discriminatory anti-gay laws.

In 2021 numerous European politicians have recommended cutting EU funding to Hungary in response to the controversial legislation widely seen as limiting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community - the legislation was adopted that summer. Last December, the Commission filed an action against the Central European country with the European Court of Justice for failure to fulfill obligations over the law. 

Financial Times: Orbán blocks post-Cotonou deal over gender issues

Nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he would not sign the long-delayed agreement between the EU and the 79 countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), which would help reduce the number of migrants in the bloc, Financial Times reports. 

“He is objecting to gender equality provisions,” an EU official told FT.  The treaty has frequent references to equal opportunities. “The parties shall systematically promote a gender perspective and ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed across all policies. They commit to fighting all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance, and all forms of violence and discrimination, including all instances of advocacy of hatred.” Balázs Orbán, Orban's political director (no relation), told the outlet that Hungary would only agree to the deal if the language was “adjusted”.

Hungary is the only EU country where academic freedom is structurally violated, study finds 

The state of academic freedom is significantly worse in Hungary than in other EU member states, according to a study written by researchers at the University of Oslo. The research paper was presented to the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament.

"Overall, in one EU Member State, Hungary, structural de facto violations of academic freedom are taking place. In the other EU Member States, various types of threats to academic freedom are addressed in public debates; however, the debates suggest that so far, these are incidents, as opposed to structural violations of the state of play of academic freedom," the study finds. Norwegian researchers cite the forced relocation of the Central European University's (CEU) main operations to Vienna,  the termination of gender studies programs in universities, and the privatization of the University of Theatre and Film in the paper.