Wednesday, February 21

EU Parliament Goes to Court Over Failure to Cut Poland and Hungary

The European Parliament is pursuing a lawsuit to force the European Commission to withhold EU subsidies from EU countries that violate the rule of law. Parliament has referred the committee to the European Court of Justice.

 

Since January, the commission can hit countries that flout democratic rules, the independence of judges and journalists, or the protection of minorities in the stock market. But the day-to-day management of the EU is “unwilling”, the parliament complains.

In December, EU leaders agreed to the rule of law conditions for European money. But they did agree that the European Court of Justice would first have to rule on the new rule of law test. Fierce opponents Poland and Hungary have now asked the court to do so. The committee says it wants to await the decision, which is expected early next year.

But the committee does not have to take any notice of the EU leaders’ agreement and should not do so, according to parliament. Now that Poland is exacerbating its conflict with Brussels over the rule of law, the call for action is only getting louder. The day-to-day management of the EU must do its duty and enforce European rules, the parliament says.

The question is whether Parliament has a strong case, experts think. Moreover, there is a good chance that the ruling on the complaint from Poland and Hungary will come earlier. The Luxembourg court is already considering this.

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