Von der Leyen: 'Racial discrimination' contradicts EU values


Published: 2022-07-30 20:23

Last Updated: 2024-06-18 09:50

Source: BBC
Source: BBC

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed Saturday that "racial discrimination" contradicts the values of the European Union, in an indirect response to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's statements related to "mixing of races."

Without directly condemning the statements of the Hungarian nationalist, which in particular angered Washington, von der Leyen stated in an interview with a Slovak news website that "all EU member states, including Hungary, have recognized common" global "non-negotiable" values. 

She added that "the practice of discrimination based on race means trampling these values" contained in European and international treaties, stressing that "the European Union is based on equality, tolerance and justice."

The European Commission president has not yet commented on Orban's comments. A spokesman had clarified Tuesday in response to a question that the European Commission "does not comment at all on statements made by European political officials."

The Hungarian official's positions led to the resignation of his adviser, who condemned what she called a "Nazi text."

The Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, also condemned these positions, and the International Committee of Auschwitz represented him.

In a statement on Friday, the heads of the main political blocs in the European Parliament condemned the "racist statements" of the Hungarian prime minister.

Orban, in a speech on July 23, rejected the idea of a "multi-ethnic" society.

"We move to other places, we work abroad, we mix inside Europe. But we don't want to be a mixed race or a multi-ethnic (people)" mixed with "non-Europeans," he said.

Without naming Viktor Orban, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans commented Wednesday on Twitter, calling racism "a poisonous political invention that should have no place in Europe."