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Helena Dalli's manipulation. The EC admits that local governments which adopted the Local Government Charter of Family Rights did not lose EU funds

Published: 13.01.2021

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Many media outlets spread the false news that six local governments which adopted a declaration of opposition to the LGBT ideology or the Local Government Charter of Family Rights were excluded from the EU's twin towns program. This information was first published by Helena Dalli – European Commissioner for Equality. However, after a few months, the European Commission admitted that the EU politician's statement was far from the truth. No local government was excluded from the program apart from Tuchów, which did not adopt the Local Government Charter of Family Rights, but a different declaration which was accepted by the administrative court. The town received compensation from the Justice Fund. On the other hand, an association from Kraśnik was admitted to the program, despite the fact that the city adopted a similar declaration.

 

On 28 July, Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, announced on Twitter that “6 applications from Polish twin towns whose authorities adopted resolutions on ‘LGBT-free zones’ or resolutions on ‘family rights’ were rejected”. This information was given in numerous Polish media, which speculated that it might be Wieluń (which adopted the Local Government Charter of Family Rights), Nowy Sącz or Wilamowice (Nowy Sącz implemented the Local Government Charter of Family Rights and Wilamowice its own resolution “Support for a constitutional family model based on traditional values”). On 30 July the Ordo Iuris Institute sent an official request for public information to the European Commission. The applicant received a reply only after a few months. The received letter clearly states that Commissioner Helena Dalli provided Poland with false information. None of the rejected applications concerned a local government which adopted the Local Government Charter of Family Rights and another document – a declaration of opposition to LGBT ideology – did not result in automatic rejection of the application.

 

Commissioner Dalli's tweet related to the Town Twinning program. From the list available on the Internet you can find out that 127 entities were admitted to the program – local governments (including 7 from Poland) or local social organisations (including 1 from Poland). Appendices to the letter of the European Commission show that there were 285 applications to the program, so the proportion of the accepted entities in the whole European Union is only 44.56%. Out of all 13 entities from Poland that applied to the program, as many as 8 (61.54%) were admitted – significantly above the EU average. Each application was assessed on a scale from 1 to 100 points – entities which obtained at least 71 were admitted to the program.

 

Importantly, points are awarded in 4 categories – consistency with the program objectives, quality of the action plan or work program, dissemination, impact and citizen involvement. The association of a given entity with a declaration of opposition to LGBT ideology did not mean automatic exclusion from the program, but a lower number of points awarded in the first of four categories. Among 8 entities admitted to participate in the program there is, among other things, an association from Kraśnik – a city whose authorities adopted in 2019 “a stance on stopping the LGBT ideology by the local government community. This entity received a grant of EUR 5040 under the program, despite being linked to a declaration of opposition to LGBT ideology.

 

However, out of 5 entities from Poland that were not admitted to the program, only one – Tuchów – adopted a declaration of opposition to the “LGBT” ideology. On 29 May 2019 councillors of Tuchów adopted a resolution on “stopping the «LGBT+» ideology by the local government community and in 2020 the local government applied for funds for the project “The potential and strength of the European Union lies in the multicultural space – civic debate about the future”. The European Commission sent a request for explanations to Tuchów, in which it stated that the declaration “may undermine the content of the request, in particular the compliance of the mission with the program objectives”.

 

READ THE OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN TUCHÓW AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION – LINK

 

In response from 9 July 2020, the mayor of Tuchów did not cite the content of the resolution of the City Council of Tuchów of 18 March 2020, in which councillors clearly emphasised that they understand LGBT ideology as a group of “controversial and not shared by a significant part of the society views on marriage, family, the way of showing human sexuality, early sexualisation of children” and “attempts to introduce them into education, culture and social life”. The stance turned out to be convincing to the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Kraków, which pursuant to the provision of 6 July 2020 (file no. III SA/Kr 316/20) rejected the complaint against the City Council of Tuchów. The administrative court admitted that the declaration “does not apply to the presentation of an ideology which is prohibited by law and does not interfere in the public-law sphere”. The mayor of Tuchów referred to the existing ruling in this regard and in response to the European Commission also emphasised that “the stance of councillors presented in the resolution is a very general ideological declaration, which is not the basis for imposing any obligations or granting or confirming powers”. Despite these explanations, the European Commission rejected Tuchów's request.

 

Importantly, on 18 August, the Minister of Justice handed over to the city of Tuchów a check for a subsidy from the Justice Fund for VFD Tuchów for the purchase of life and health saving equipment in the amount of PLN 250,000 as compensation for unfair deprivation of funds from the “Town Twinning” program. The councillors present at the conference once again “assured that the resolution of the council does not discriminate against anyone, and that Tuchów – for whom Polish culture and tradition is important – has no intention of withdrawing from the adopted resolution”.

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