EU threatens to withhold $150M in aid from Poland over anti-LGBTQ zones

EU threatens to withhold $150M in aid from Poland over anti-LGBTQ zones
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The European Union is threatening to withhold $150 million in aid from Polish provinces over the country's anti-LGBTQ zones.

The European Commission sent letters to the governors of five provinces that established such zones, warning that the money would be withheld if the zones were not rescinded, Bloomberg News reported.

The newspaper cited Polish media reports which were confirmed by an official with knowledge of the matter.

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The funds are from the React -EU program, which was intended to aid in recovery efforts, according to the news outlet. Poland is allocated over 1.5 billion euros ($1.78 billion) in aid.

A spokesperson for the Commission confirmed to The Hill that it sent letters to the provinces on Friday, warning them to comply with the agency's formal notice sent July 15. 

At the time, the Commission announced that it was taking legal action against Poland over the “LGBT-ideology free zones," saying that the Polish government was hampering the Commission’s ability to carry out an analysis of the law.

A Polish government spokesperson had no immediate comment to Bloomberg. 

According to Bloomberg, almost a third of municipalities in Poland have adopted the declaration as of mid- 2020. However, the declarations have fueled fear of discrimination, despite not having legal meaning.

The Commission also said it would take action against Hungary for passing a law prohibiting students under the age of 18 from seeing content that "encourages" homosexuality.

Updated at 12:26 p.m.