We need rule-of-law mechanism to secure EU budget: EC

The German presidency in the EU has presented a new proposal of conditionality in the Union’s budget, including the EUR 750 mln-large Recovery Fund. It concerns a possible suspension of EU funds in instances of violating the rule-of-law.

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“Our statement is very important. We need a significant rule-of-law mechanism because it is in our common interest to have good regulations securing the budget,” Dana Spinant, a spokeswoman of the European Commission told a press conference.

The proposal is based on an earlier version from 2018 and will be the basis for negotiations between 27 Member States.

According to the Polish Press Agency (PAP), the document states that violating the rule-of-law might result in the suspension of funds.

An anonymous Polish governmental source told PAP that the proposal is not satisfactory for Warsaw. “It does not include the decisions of the European Council,” the source was quoted as saying, referring to the results of the summit that took place in July.

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According to the proposal, it is the European Commission that will assess cases of rule-of-law violations by the Member States, while decisions about the possible suspension of funds would be made by the Council of the European Union and voted on by the majority of Member States.

In the earlier proposal, a specified majority was necessary to block, not confirm the suspension of the payment of funds.

The German presidency also wrote in the document that the procedure of laying such sanctions should be “objective, non-discriminative and treat equally all the Member States” and be based on an “unbiased approach based on evidence.”

Moreover, if a Member State does not agree that the rules were violated, it will be able to ask the head of the European Council to take it to the EU summit. In such a situation, no decision can be made, until EU leaders discuss it during the summit.

The German presidency hopes that the project will receive a green-light from the qualified majority in the Council of the EU.