The European Parliament paved the way for a court case against the European Commission, accusing it of failing to apply EU funding mechanisms that are conditional on respect for the rule of law.
During the plenary meeting held in Strasbourg this Thursday, members of the European Parliament passed a resolution with 506 votes in favor, 150 votes against and 26 abstentions, asking the President of the General Assembly David Sassoli to urge the European Commission to ” Fulfill its obligations” according to the new regulations, within two weeks at most, but is now ready to appeal to the European Court of Justice, just in case.
“However, the Parliament should immediately begin the necessary preparations for the potential legal proceedings of the European Commission in accordance with Article 265 of the Treaty on the Operation of the European Union,” read the adopted text, which “confirmed” the threats made by the legislator in March last year If the community executive does not propose any measures before June 1st under the new rules that took effect at the beginning of this year, they will continue to file a lawsuit in the courts.
The European Parliament emphasized that the risk of the EU budget being abused among member states has increased, and pointed out that the rule of law is deteriorating, and therefore called on the European Commission to quickly resolve “serious violations of the rule of law.” For some member states that have seriously damaged the fair, legal and equitable distribution of EU funds”.
The parliament passed the resolution after a debate with the committee and the council on Wednesday. The chairman of the council, Portugal, expressed its understanding of the urgency of the European Parliament in applying the new EU budget condition mechanism to respect national laws, but believed it would be better to wait for the court’s judgment.
Ana Paula Zakarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Portuguese presidency, reiterated that the Security Council is more willing to wait for the court to rule on appeals from Hungary and Poland against the mechanism.
He pointed out: “Regarding the application of the new conditional mechanism, I understand that the parliament hopes to achieve more tangible and faster results”, adding that he is also aware that “the committee has made progress in terms of guidelines, which is important for ensuring fairness and justice. Application. And based on the facts of regulations”.
However, the Secretary of State speaking on behalf of the Council recalled that “the two member states made a call for the abolition of the regulation in March”, and the EU heads of state and government agreed to this in 2020.
“As the Council of Europe mentioned in its December conclusion, without affecting the independence of the committee, the Council believes that it is very important for the committee to hear the judgment of the European Court of Justice before finalizing its guidelines.” Anna Paula The defense said that Zakarias…
In March last year, the European Parliament warned the European Commission that if the EU executive body further delays the application of the mechanism for obtaining funds on the condition of respect for the rule of law, it is prepared to go to court.
The parliamentarians believe that ensuring the integrity of the EU budget is crucial, especially within the framework of the EU Recovery Fund, which will allocate an unprecedented amount of 750 billion euros to overcome the new crown pneumonia crisis19. .
According to members of the European Parliament, the existing rule of law rules that came into effect at the beginning of this year must apply and “cannot be subject to the adoption of guidelines”. This is a measure currently being prepared by the committee, adding that community executives believe this The guidelines are necessary, so it should pass them before June 1, but this did not happen.
On March 11, Poland and Hungary filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice, questioning the European Fund Agreement as a mechanism that respects the rule of law, and realized the announcement issued when the two parties reached an agreement. Last December 27th, regarding the Recovery Fund and the EU 2021-2027 multi-year budget.
Both Warsaw and Budapest are often accused of violating the rule of law, and only after the Council of Europe accepted that the mechanism should not be implemented before the court rules in appeals, did it agree in December to remove the veto on compromises. The abolition of a Member State is a process that can be delayed.
The budget commissioner Johannes Hann (Johannes Hann) also participated in Wednesday’s hemisphere debate on behalf of the committee, reporting on all the work done by the community executive to ensure the success of the European taxpayer’s conditional mechanism. Expect and deserve”.