Wilamowice will not lose the Norway Grants subsidy. The decision was made after the city passed a resolution to adopt the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, which waived another resolution expressing objection to ‘the undermining of the model of the family by representatives of LGBT communities’. The councillors decided to do so after representatives of the Kingdom of Norway assured that the Charter will not stand in the way of the PLN 7 million subsidy. The city was supported by the Ordo Iuris Institute.
“The Norwegian representatives have officially confirmed that Polish local governments shall not forfeit the Norway Grants if, instead of resolutions containing a reference to the LGBT movement, they adopt the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family prepared by the Ordo Iuris Institute. Now, more and more local governments can rest assured that the protection of marriage and family that the Charter provides is not a real threat to their international cooperation”, comments Nikodem Bernaciak, analyst at the Institute.
On 30 October 2019, the City Council of Wilamowice adopted Resolution no. XIV/83/19 on the support for a constitutional family model based on traditional values. It contained a fragment regarding the objection to ‘the undermining of the model of the family by representatives of LGBT communities’. A year later, Wilamowice took part in the Norway Grants competition as part of the action ‘Improving Cultural Heritage Management’ in the ‘Culture’ programme. On 6 November 2020, following content assessment and evaluation by the Expert Committee, the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport (MKDNiS) announced 20 winning projects – including the project ‘Creation of the Museum of Wilamowice Culture – Building the Museum of Wilamowice Culture’. The total cost of the project is PLN 8,620,792.17, including a grant of PLN 7,327,673.31.
In a letter dated 7 December 2020, the Director of the Financial Mechanism Office (FMO), Henning Stirø, stated that the resolution adopted by the City Council of Wilamowice allegedly contained ‘explicit language about LGBT’. In previous letters to the representatives of the Polish government (dated 23 September and 4 December), Norway found arbitrarily that such statements violate Article 1.3.1 of the Regulation on the Implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 of 22 September 2016. According to Norway, in making the decision on the grant, the Programme Operator (MKDNiS) violated Article 5.6.1 of the Regulation, along with the National Focal Point – Article 5.3.1 of the Regulation. According to FMO, both decisions also violated Article 1.2.3 of the Agreement between the NFP and the Programme Operator; therefore, pursuant to Article 13.1.1(k) of the Regulation, a decision was made to suspend the payment. In a letter dated 29 January 2021, the Director of FMO informed about the suspension of payment pursuant to Article 13.1.3 of the Regulation, justifying the decision with a false accusation that ‘the resolution of the City Council of Wilamowice defines a group of people in terms of type based solely on their sexual orientation’. In a letter from 26 February 2021 (ref. DFE-WPI.9211.70.2020.MK), the Ministry informed the Mayor of Wilamowice that Norway issued an ultimatum to the city – the council should either waive the controversial resolution or officially renounce the Norway Grants subsidy.
The Ordo Iuris Institute offered to help the city and suggested that instead of the resolution referring to the ‘LGBT community’, the City Council adopts the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family. The document was prepared in collaboration with the Institute in 2019 and it focuses on positive aspects of the protection of family, marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man, parenthood and motherhood, the right to the protection of family life, parents’ right to raise their children in accordance with their own beliefs, and children’s right to protection against demoralisation. It does not contain a single mention of the LGBT movement. On 23 March, the Deputy Director of the Department of European Funds and Affairs at the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport informed the city representatives that:
Pursuant to the information received from the National Focal Point (NFP), a representative of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sjur Larsen, at a meeting with the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Waldemar Buda, confirmed that the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, prepared by Ordo Iuris (a Polish NGO defending constitutional order, with a consultative status at UN ECOSOC) is acceptable to the Donors. Such information was officially sent in a letter from Minister Waldemar Buda to the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Climate and Environment dated 12 March 2021 (copy attached). According to that document: ‘(…) the adoption of the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family, understood as the text prepared by the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, is not in breach of Article 1.3.1 of the Regulation, which was confirmed by representative of the Donor States at a meeting with the National Focal Point on 16 February this year.’
On 30 April 2021, exactly eighteen months after the adoption of the resolution of 30 October 2019, the City Council of Wilamowice held special session no. XXXII in order to waive the old act and adopt the Local Government Charter of the Rights of the Family in a single resolution. This means that – according to the words of the Norwegian government official – Wilamowice shall regain the suspended grant of over PLN 7 million.
• The Strasbourg Court rejected the complaint of a female couple claiming that their right to respect for family life had been violated by Iceland’s refusal to recognise them as the mothers of a child born to a commercial arrangement with an American surrogate.
• The Italian Senate held the first reading of the ‘Zan bill’ against ‘homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia’.
The European Parliament is demanding that the European Union impose the concept of ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ on all Member States and that foetal homicide be recognised as a human right. It does so despite the fact that Member States have never agreed to add this type of construct into international law, and despite the fact that the European Union has no competence in the field of human health policy.
This is the next step of the ideological agenda of EU institutions. In early May, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament adopted a report on ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’. However, its final version has not been published yet, which undoubtedly aims at reducing the critical reception of the controversial report.