Brussels under pressure to hit Poland and Hungary in the wallet

Brussels under pressure to hit Poland and Hungary in the wallet

As evidence of the importance given to the case, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has, for the first time, broadcast live on its website to read its decision, Wednesday 16 February, at 9:30 am. The judges of Luxembourg knew their verdict awaited them, while the future of a conditional mechanism for paying community funds for respecting the rule of law was implemented there.

Court refused “in its entirety” Cases to repeal this regulation were brought by Poland and Hungary. It then approved, without reservation, this new mechanism, which allows the Commission to deprive group funds of a country where violations of the rule of law have been observed. “Harm or threaten to hurt” for the financial interests of the European Union “In a direct enough way.”

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During the negotiations between the 27 countries on the European Recovery Plan of 750 billion euros and the budget of 2021-2027 of 1070 billion euros, in the summer of 2020, many countries, including the Netherlands, made this conditionality mechanism an indispensable condition for their support. Warsaw and Budapest, for their part, threatened to block the entire budget package if it was adopted. They finally changed their mind after getting from their partners a commitment that the committee would not use it until CJEU made its verdict.

Poland and Hungary are among the main recipients of European funds, and from this point of view, this regulation that has just been ratified by the CJEU can be very harmful for them. Within the framework of the multi-year budget, Warsaw should receive more than 110 billion euros and Budapest more than 35 billion euros between 2021 and 2027. As for the recovery plan, it reserves for it, respectively, 23.9 billion and 7.2 billion euros in aid, but they have not yet received one euro. Before that, the Commission is asking the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, to begin reforming the Polish justice system, now a paycheck to power, and for his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orbán, to address corruption, which has become endemic.

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The European Parliament’s patience is running out

The Commission We will carefully analyze the motives. The judges responded, its president, Ursula von der Leyen, who seemed in no hurry to act. Community CEO must publish “Guidelines” From the regulations – a kind of instruction – on March 2, first of all, to decide by then what he intends to make use of. Knowing that as soon as he decides to launch hostilities, It will take another six to nine months before the procedure is complete.

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