Recovery plan: European Parliament refuses to renegotiate the rule of law

The 750 billion euro stimulus plan, on which the 27 agreed on July 21 after the spring health crisis, is struggling to get started as the second wave of Covid-19 takes hold slaughter on the European Union. Unanimity is required for the implementation of this plan, more than expected by the European economies, after four days and four nights of a marathon summit

The 27 are divided on the establishment of a mechanism that would link the payment of European funds to respect for the rule of law and the separation of powers. The conclusions of the July marathon summit mentioned it but not in a precise way, leaving the field open to various interpretations.

The veto of three countries

After the Hungarians and Poles, joined on Tuesday by the Slovenes, vetoed the adoption of the EU budget and its recovery plan in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, the European Parliament has shown itself inflexible this Wednesday, ruling out any renegotiation. “No other concession will be made on our side,” said its president David Sassoli and the leaders of the political groups in a statement.

“The leaders of the European Parliament deeply regret this blockage and reaffirm that the agreements concluded (both on the multiannual budget and on the rule of law) […] can in no case be reopened ”.

Tuesday, while Slovenia had not opposed the adoption of the budget the day before, gave its support to Poland and Hungary. “Only an independent judicial body can say what the rule of law is, not a political majority,” wrote Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa in a letter to European Council President Charles Michel.

Hungary and Slovenia did not recognize Trump’s defeat

Like his Hungarian counterpart, the head of the Slovenian government is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and has still not recognized the results of the US presidential election. In this four-page letter, the Slovenian evokes the authoritarian experience lived under communism by many countries which joined the EU after 2004, which today refuse to cede further parts of their sovereignty to the qualified majority “against money ”.

But on Wednesday the Hungarian Viktor Orban opened the door for the first time, calling for the establishment of “objective criteria” and the “possibility of a legal remedy”, if this mechanism on the rule of law that he criticizes was to come into force. But hey, in 2019 European funds were equivalent in 2019 to around 4.48% of its gross national product for Hungary, one of the highest rates among EU countries.

The head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki, has also defended a firm position vis-à-vis “the European oligarchy”. ” We say Yes to the European Union, but non to being punished like children, ”he told Parliament in Warsaw, warning against“ the collapse of the EU ”.

“How to move forward without countries blocking”

To try to get out of the crisis, the European Union is studying “practical solutions, which can go through a certain number of technical clarifications”, reacted the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune. But, he warned, “we will look if necessary as a last resort how to move forward without countries blocking”.

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