EU Parliament: rule of law situation in Poland and Hungary deteriorated
The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution regarding the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, concluding that the situation in both countries has worsened. The EP also called upon the European Commission and the Council of Europe to use available mechanism in order to eliminate the risk of EU principles violation.
In favour of the resolution were 446 MEPs, 178 were against, 41 abstained.
The contents of the resolution, prepared by five main political groups, stress that each clear risk of serious violation of EU principles by a member-state does not pertain exclusively to the state in question, but also affects other countries of the European Union.
EU mechanism on rule of law
MEPs reminded about their standpoint in which they had called for protection of the EU budget in case shortcomings with regards to the rule of law. The called upon member-states to start negotiations aimed at conditioning the access to EU funds.
Initially, this provision wasn't included in the draft resolution, but it's been added as an amendment. In the same way, the MEPs included a reference to the draft law tightening disciplinary measures for judges, adopted the Polish lower house on December 20th, 2019.
Call for deadlines and concrete recommendations
Not legally binding, however, the resolution is primarily a text summarising the process of the Article 7 of the EU Treaty procedure and a call upon the General Affairs Council (GAC) to increase pressure on Poland and Hungary.
MEPs point out that the hearings organised by the Council under Article 7 of the Treaty are neither regular nor structured.
They call on the Council to address concrete recommendations to the countries concerned, including deadlines, to ensure EU law is respected.
“The failure by the Council to make effective use of Article 7 continues to undermine the integrity of common European values, mutual trust and the credibility of the European Union as a whole”, claims the EP.
"Situation has deteriorated"
In the resolution, MEPs note that reports and statements by the Commission, the UN, OSCE and the Council of Europe indicate that "the situation in both Poland and Hungary has deteriorated since the triggering of Article 7(1)".
The text also urges the Commission to use all tools at its disposal to prevent a serious breach of common values, such as expedited infringement procedures and applications for interim measures before the Court of Justice.
Finally, the resolution underlines the “imminent need” for an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, as proposed by the Parliament. This should be an annual independent review which assesses, on an equal footing, the compliance of all member states with the values stipulated in Article 2 of the Treaty.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, European Parliament