EP threatens to take legal action if rule of law conditionality application delays

Photo: EP EP holds its plenary session in Brussels.

In a resolution, MEPs warned the European Commission that if it fails to fulfil its obligations under the legally-binding conditionality regulation and does not take all appropriate measures to defend the EU’s financial interests and values, Parliament will consider this to constitute a failure to act and will take the Commission to court under Article 265. 

In the text adopted on Thursday by 529 votes in favour, 148 against and 10 abstentions, lawmakers demanded the existing rules on the rule of law to be applied and said they cannot be subject to the adoption of guidelines, which preparation by the Commission is ongoing.

If the Commission does deem such guidelines necessary, the resolution requests they must be ready by 1 June 2021, and that Parliament should be consulted prior to their adoption, MEPs urged.

MEPs reiterate the importance of applying the Rule of Law mechanism without delay, particularly given its potential implications for the upcoming disbursement of the NextGenerationEU recovery fund.

The resolution is a follow-up of the debate held at the previous plenary session, where MEPs reminded the Commission that the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism has already been in force since 1 January 2021. The tool is designed to protect EU funds from being misused by EU governments who are found to have failed to respect the principle of the rule of law.

 

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