Summit Midsummer meeting of EU leaders became unusually emotional and divisive: countries in different camps from Hungary and Russia

The Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin (SD), spoke at the meeting about rainbow families and the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

Brussels

Midsummer the summit in Brussels saw two rare divisive debates. EU leaders discussed Hungary and Russia at length, and the differences could not be resolved before the meeting.

Hungary was not originally supposed to be the subject of a meeting, but the country’s actions became topical due to the Hungarian law oppressing sexual and gender minorities. Prior to the meeting, 17 EU countries signed a letter condemning the law.

The Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin (sd) described Thursday night’s discussion as emotional.

“The discussion was very difficult, but still necessary. Yes, I agree that there has been a certain amount of cross-border going here. It is about common values ​​and principles, ”Marin said after the meeting in Brussels.

Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel has been one of the loudest opponents of the law. According to Bettel, only Slovenia and Poland were left alongside Hungary at the meeting.

In the hall, Bettel talked about his own experiences, he said newspaper Politico citing meeting sources.

“I didn’t become a homosexual, I am. It’s not a choice, ”Bettel had said.

Sanna Marin herself has grown up with two mothers in a rainbow family. However, Marin, like Bettel, did not bring up his own experiences at the meeting. In his speech, he defended the rights of children and young people.

In practice, Hungarian law prohibits, for example, children and young people from being told about homosexuality.

“I highlighted that families and people are diverse and that diversity needs to be respected. Trying to clean up such a conversation away from schools or different places is very detrimental to young people and children who, for example, grow up in rainbow families, ”said Marin.

EU leaders met for a summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday 24 June.

Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte had asked the Hungarian Prime Minister in the debate From Viktor Orbán the reason why the country is still in the European Union. Rutte has talked about it before. According to him, the common values ​​of the EU countries must be respected.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized after the discussion that leaders had made it clear “what fundamental values ​​we respect”.

“It was a contradictory but very honest conversation,” Merkel said.

French presidential Emmanuel Macronin According to him, there is a difference between East and West in the EU.

According to Macron, there is a need for a “cultural war” with some European countries because of legislation against sexual minorities.

“We need to figure out how countries can end up in a situation like this. We have to go to a cultural war, a struggle between civilizations, ”Macron said at a news conference after the meeting, according to news agency Reuters.

According to Macron, Hungary can remain a member of the EU.

“I don’t support activating Article 50,” Macron said. In that article of the Treaty, it is possible to initiate proceedings leading to the dismissal of a Member State.

Second There was a discussion about Russia that divided EU countries. During the meeting, France and Germany brought to the table the initiative of the presidents of the EU countries and Russia Vladimir Putin summit.

At least Poland and the Baltic countries knocked out the initiative with this batch. Merkel of Germany was disappointed that the desired step towards closer relations was not taken at this meeting.

Europe will have to follow the discussions between the United States and Russia, for example. The French-German initiative for a joint summit came after the President of the United States Joe Biden met President Putin in June in Switzerland.

In 2016, the EU outlined five basic principles for its relations with Russia. In principle, relations with Russia will be limited until, for example, Russia begins to comply with the Minsk Agreement on Ukraine. However, fighting in eastern Ukraine has continued.

“Has Russia changed its actions [Euroopan aiempien toimien] by? Is not. The means from that point of view have not been effective enough, ”says Marin.

Marin predicts that the French and German proposal will return.

“We have emphasized the importance of dialogue so that we can discuss very difficult issues face-to-face with Russia.”

According to Marin, the Russia debate was not divisive between member states, and common results were reached. According to the resolution, EU leaders expect “the Russian leadership to show a more constructive approach and political commitment and to end its actions against the EU and its member states”.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (left) and French President Emmanuel Macron clenched their fists at a summit on Friday 25 June. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, stood in the background.

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