Brussels (dpa) – In the dispute over possible procedures to cut EU funds for countries like Poland and Hungary, green politician Sven Giegold called for an “Alliance of Parliaments”.
“The pro-European parties in the Bundestag must now support their colleagues in the European Parliament,” said the MEP for the German news agency. Together, parliaments could step up pressure on the European Commission to finally use the so-called rule of law mechanism against the Hungarian and Polish governments.
Giegold accused the Union and the SPD of not paying enough attention to the rule of law issues in the EU during the federal election campaign. “Europe will not impress the autocrats in Hungary and Poland with words, but only with financial sanctions,” said the German Greens spokesperson in the European Parliament.
The European Parliament last called on the European Commission in June, threatening not to act, to finally use its new instrument to punish rule of law violations in the EU. However, the Brussels authority has not yet initiated a corresponding procedure and the Parliament is currently working on a request to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The rule of law protection procedure provides that EU countries can reduce funds from the community budget if there is a risk of misappropriation of funds due to rule of law violations. Critics accuse the Hungarian and Polish governments of influencing the justice system contrary to EU standards. They also see a threat to the EU budget as, as a rule, national law enforcement authorities and courts are tasked with investigating a possible embezzlement of EU funds.
Poland and Hungary reject the claims and also sued the ECJ against the new procedure. They assume that the so-called conditionality mechanism is incompatible with current Community law.
From the point of view of the European Parliament, the fact that the European Commission has not yet initiated any proceedings is due to the fact that, following an agreement between the Heads of State and Government, it is in fact only supposed to intervene when the ECJ on the lawsuit of Hungary and Poland against the new regulation Has decided. The concession prompted the governments of Budapest and Warsaw last year to abandon their blockades of important EU budget decisions. However, the European Parliament is of the opinion that the Commission is not bound by the agreement.