No local government that adopted an ‘LGBT ideology-free resolution in Poland will be eligible for EU cohesion funds due to concerns over appropriate spending, French MEP Pierre Karleskind tweeted, citing the EU Commission.
Since 2019, five Polish regions and over 190 municipalities, inspired by “LGBT-free zone” stickers added to one edition of the right-wing Gazeta Polska newspaper, adopted resolutions on creating “LGBT-ideology-free zones.” Four regions revoked the resolutions after the Commission’s intervention and the fifth modified them.
“It is confirmed! Not a single euro from the EU will go to ‘LGBT-free zones’ in Poland,” Karleskind tweeted. “The European Commission confirmed to me in a letter that it will execute its warnings: no money without respecting values,” he added.
In a letter sent to Karleskind as an answer to his question, Commissioners Elisa Ferreira and Nicholas Schmidt stressed that the principles of equality and non-discrimination are reiterated in the EU regulations for cohesion policy.
They stressed that the Commission started an infringement procedure against Poland as the country failed to respond appropriately to the EU executive’s inquiry over the nature and impact of the “LGBT-ideology free zones.”
Yet, once Poland provided the requested information, the Commission closed the procedure in January.
Confirming that the Commission will continue to monitor the issue, the commissioners pointed out that Poland agreed to introduce a specific anti-discrimination clause in its Partnership Agreement and programs for the 2021-2027 financing period.
The clause concerns municipalities, counties and regions. It states that cohesion policy support will only be provided to projects and beneficiaries that comply with the anti-discrimination provisions in the EU law.
According to the Commissioners that replied to Karleskind’s letter, the cohesion policy rules require that the member states set necessary arrangements and procedures to ensure compliance with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
“It is for Poland to put in place these arrangements and, subsequently, to inform the Commission and provide a justification for the fulfilment of the horizontal enabling condition on the Charter,” the letter reads.
Under pressure from Brussels, more and more counties and municipalities are revoking their “LGBT-ideology free” resolutions, according to the Atlas of Hate, but the resolutions remain in force in several others.