The European Council may disburse funds from the recovery plan, 750,000 million euros, and activate its budget for 2021, after the resignation of the governments of Hungary and Poland to block the economic program due to the approval of a regulation that could deprive them of access to community funds if they do not modify domestic policies that violate the European Union values.
The commitment that has made it possible to overcome the danger of collapse of one of the fundamental elements of Community policy is based on the promise not to discriminate against affected countries and the inclusion of a legal procedure. The Court of Justice of the European Union will have to analyze the legality of the sanction mechanism before it enters into force, if one of the member states requests it.
The new procedure is detailed in a document that is presented as a “Interpretative declaration”. Negotiated by the German Presidency of the Union with the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Viktor Orban, and Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, it guarantees to both that the regulation can be applied only from 2021. The subsequent intervention of the European court would postpone the possible sanctions until a most convenient time for both politicians.
Government control of judges, restrictions on freedom of the press and the activity of NGOs, and treatment of minorities are the reasons that led the European Parliament to create the sanctions mechanism in a negotiation with member states. Although the declaration does not have legal force in itself, the text approved by Parliament does.
The Commission can now initiate the procedure for awarding the funds for the recovery of the economic effects of the pandemic, which in the Spanish case could add 140,000 million after the presentation and approval in Brussels of the distribution plan for community transfers and loans.
The lack of coordination The community response to the first phase of the covid-19 pandemic has been gradually corrected and, on the eve of the homologation and distribution of vaccines purchased jointly, the German presidency has promoted a series of measures to give greater coherence to the actions of the various governments and allow the orderly reduction of restrictions.
Among the measures debated by the Commission are the recognition of tests carried out in another member state, the extension of the use of faster tests in the detection of antigens, the creation of a common form for flight passengers and to give impetus to the modifications that allow the telephone applications that enable the tracking systems to be operational in all territories .
On the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Commission wants to accelerate the decarbonisation process, setting a new target of 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to those of 1990. The advance of ambitions has been rapid. In 2008 it was 20% and in 2014 it was 40%.
By 2019, the goal of a ‘climate neutral’ EU in 2050 had already been set. The new program will support regions with the most difficulties to undertake transition in their economies. And the climate policy is part of the investment plan of the “Green Pact”, which will absorb 30% of the community budget in the period 2021-2027.
The Commission also analyzed a document to give member states the right to demand that internet provider companies remove content promoting terrorism or take measures to disable access. Each member state will regulate the rules and sanctions and may analyze the justification for orders issued by other member states to suppliers in its territory. Individuals and companies they will be able to dispute the orders.
The President of the Commission, Charles Michel, stated before the meeting that the heads of State and Government of the 27 were going to receive an explanation about the circumstances in which the negotiation of an agreement on the future relationship is found. trade with United Kingdom, but that was not going to be up for debate. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in London that they want to meet Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in the coming days.
In the foreign relations chapter, the Council entrusted the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, to present in March a report on the current situation around Turkey, including a plan and the extension of sanctions, such as the freezing of funds to individuals who have participated in actions considered contrary to international law in the waters of Greece and Cyprus.