Polish region scraps LGBTQ-free zone resolution in EU row
One of the five Polish provinces that declared themselves anti-LGBTQ zones has rescinded the resolution after the European Union threatened to bloc as much as €126 million of cohesion funds to local governments.
The assembly of the eastern region of Swietokrzyskie voted on Wednesday to revoke the measure that was adopted in 2019. Towns and provinces across Poland have declared themselves “free of LGBTQ ideology” to prevent pride parades and similar events from taking place.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, sent letters to the governors of the provinces earlier this month warning that if the resolutions weren’t withdrawn the money would be withheld. The frozen funds are from the bloc’s React-EU programme, which was launched after the coronavirus pandemic to aid recovery efforts. The country’s full allocation is more than €1.5 billion.
The EU also remains in a separate standoff with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a key Polish ally, on his own LGBTQ legislation. At the same time, both Orban and Poland’s de facto leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski have begun to play down talk of a more definitive break with the bloc.
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