Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh has travelled to Hungary today to take part in this weekend’s Budapest Pride march. MEP Walsh has been outspoken about the continuous anti-LGBTI+ law adaptations in Hungary since taking office in the Parliament in 2019.
While in Hungary, MEP Walsh will take part in an important panel discussion on LGBTI+ rights in the EU and also in the Budapest Pride March next weekend.
The panel discussion involving MEPs on how the EU can secure rights for the LGBTI+ community in all member states, comes at a vital time, especially in Hungary, with the recent passing of the anti-LGBTI+ law there. It will centre around what the European Union can and should do for the rights of its LGBTI+ citizens.
The round table is an official part of Budapest Pride and the organisers of Budapest Pride specifically asked for Fine Gael MEP Walsh to be involved.
“As the Vice Chair on LGBTI+ Intergroup in the Parliament and as a LGBTI+ activist, alley and community member myself, I am honoured to have been invited as a Fine Gael and EPP Group MEP to support the Rainbow community in Hungary. The recent actions of the Fidesz Government has once again emphasised that equality is hard fought, but can be quickly lost if we do not work collectively to ensure extremists like Orban are held to account,” MEP Walsh said.
“This panel discussion is extremely important as we discuss what the EU can do to ensure the rights of our LGBTI+ community are recognised, upheld and protected across all member states. The importance of putting in place legal and financial deterrents for countries like Hungary and Poland who continue to actively undermine the fundamental values of our EU is essential.
“We need to make a clear statement that everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, skin colour and creed are welcomed in the European Union.
“Earlier this month in plenary, a resolution was passed which outlines in the strongest terms that the law adopted in Hungary is a clear breach of EU values. Since then we have seen the Commission finally take legal action with infringement procedures against both Fidesz and PiS.
“Being a member of the European Union is not ‘a la carte’, both governments have continued to demolish fundamental rights of their citizens, especially our Rainbow communities,” she said.
“After the most recent state-sponsored LGBTIQ-phobia and disinformation campaigns by the Hungarian government, 18 Member States signed a statement, including Ireland, calling for the Commission to investigate the illegal acts against our LGBTI+ communities. Finally a very clear sign that enough is enough. We cannot let this hate speech and anti-minority narrative continue.”
Shge said that she is an advocate for promoting engagement in all aspects of her work, so is delighted to be a part of the Budapest Pride panel on July 23 and Pride March on July 24.
“What we see both online and offline in countries like Hungary, Poland, and even on our own island, needs to be addressed through peaceful engagement. That is why Pride Marches and Roundtables are essential in growing a more equal Europe,” MEP Walsh concluded.