Poland and Hungary had sued against possible funding cuts. However, a binding report states that the annulment actions are to be dismissed.
Actions by Hungary and Poland against an EU sanction rule for violations of the rule of law principles should, in the opinion of one ECJ-Be rejected by expert opinion. The mechanism has a suitable legal basis and is also compatible with other principles of EU law, said Advocate General Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona on Thursday. “In these circumstances, the Advocate General proposes that the Court dismiss the actions for annulment brought by Hungary and Poland.”
The so-called rule of law mechanism provides that EU states can reduce funds from the community budget if there is a threat of misuse of EU funds due to violations of constitutional principles such as the separation of powers. The governments in Hungary and Poland fear that the new procedure will mainly be used against them. Among other things, they argue that there is no appropriate legal basis for the regulation. Critics accuse Warsaw and Budapest of influencing the judiciary against EU standards.
Legally binding expert opinion
In the now published – legally non-binding – report it is also made clear that the term rule of law under the new mechanism meets the minimum requirements for “clarity, accuracy and predictability” and thus corresponds to the principle of legal certainty. The regulation constitutes a budgetary rule which presupposes a “sufficiently direct link between the violation of the rule of law and the implementation of the budget”. It is therefore not applicable to all violations of the rule of law, but only in direct connection with the budgetary management of the Union.
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