November 30, 2021

EU commission rejects MEPs’ rule-of-law ultimatum

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has dismissed the European Parliament’s name for motion underneath a brand new rule-of-law conditionality mechanism, which hyperlinks EU funds to respect for authorized norms.

In a five-page letter, dated Monday (23 August), to European Parliament president David Sassoli, the commission chief argued that, in its name for motion, the parliament had not been clear sufficient on what instances it needed the EU government to behave.

The conditionality mechanism was adopted final December and entered into full drive in January.

Nonetheless, EU leaders, underneath the specter of a veto on the EU’s long-term finances by Hungary and Poland, connected political situations to its software, resembling a requirement for the commission to arrange tips on the usage of the mechanism and to attend for a European Courtroom of Justice ruling on it.

Many MEPs have grow to be livid that EU leaders’ political haggling would delay the applying of an already adopted laws, which was seen as presumably the simplest software close to governments, notably in Poland and in Hungary, whose measures have breached EU regulation.

In March, MEPs warned in a decision that they’d take the commission to courtroom if it didn’t act underneath the rule-of-law mechanism.

In June, they adopted one other decision, with the backing of 5 events, saying it would take the EU government to courtroom if it didn’t act. This Tuesday was their deadline for the commission to take action.

However Von der Leyen argued in her letter on Monday that there have been “no constraints” and “no suspension” of the applying of the regulation.

She mentioned the commission was engaged on an in depth evaluation required for launching the process and had taken the mandatory motion underneath the regulation. Beforehand, the commission had hinted it’d launch instances within the autumn.

“The Parliament’s request to act is not sufficiently clear and precise to enable that institutions to ascertain in specific terms the content of the decisions that it is asked to adopt,” von der Leyen mentioned.

“The commission, therefore, finds itself unable to define its position as regards the European Parliament’s request … to open the procedure under the regulation ‘in the most obvious cases’,” she wrote, including that the parliament ought to clarify “in concrete terms” which these instances the place and why they fell underneath the mechanism.

A key MEP on rule-of-law points referred to as Von der Leyen’s letter a “provocation”.

“I have seen a lot of legalistic rubbish in my time, but this is the bluntest provocation ever. The lawyers of the EU Commission may be high-fiving, but they miss the point: it is not an insult to Parliament. It is an insult to the European citizens,” Dutch liberal MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld commented in a tweet.

One other high MEP on the problem, German Inexperienced MEP Daniel Fruend, mentioned: “Keep in mind that this hair-splitting is happening in the midst of a European rule of law crisis. Berlaymont knows about the massive rule of law violations in Hungary. They require immediate action by the commission.”

“Shameful non-reply,” tweeted John Morijn, a regulation and politics professor on the College of Groningen within the Netherlands, who can also be a co-author of a 56-page lengthy examine detailing attainable authorized instances underneath the regulation close to Hungary.

Nonetheless, the commission’s reply places the parliament in a tricky place, as a result of courtroom motion towards the EU government might grow to be irrelevant as soon as the commission triggers the rule-of-law mechanism.

In the meantime, behind the sophisticated, procedural bickering lies a fierce battle for the effectivity of the rule-of-law software.

The primary-ever EU software linking the disbursement of EU funds to the respect of rule of regulation – if a direct hyperlink to spending of EU cash will be established – was hailed as a doubtlessly potent mechanism to cease the erosion of democratic ideas throughout the bloc.

The EU has struggled to adequately take care of issues over judicial independence, systematic corruption, and democratic backsliding in each Hungary and Poland, which have been underneath EU scrutiny for years.

Source link