European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave an annual evaluation speech on Wednesday, covering at least ten topics, including the rule of law mechanism. He emphasized that the European Commission’s annual report would include concrete recommendations to address the problems, as there were worrying developments in “certain” Member States. He did not say their names, but in all likelihood he was referring to Hungary and Poland.
Anna Donáth went much further than the rumor: Momentum MEP asked Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, whether the first step in launching the rule of law mechanism would be whether the European Commission would send written requests to the Member States concerned in the coming weeks. matters previously loudly criticized by the committee. The issue is important because, as the Honorable Member writes in his Facebook post, the committee has previously stated that it will not apply the rule of law until the European Court of Justice has ruled, which has not yet happened.
Of particular interest in this respect is the response of the EU Commissioner, who replied that
written requests should be interpreted as initiating the rule of law mechanism.
The European Commission can launch the mechanism under the Rule of Law Regulation, which has been in force since 1 January 2021, but it was decided last December that the procedure could not be initiated until the European Court of Justice ruled that the regulation was in line. with EU law. The European Parliament was satisfied that the committee would not intervene and, on the grounds of failure to fulfill an obligation, brought a lawsuit against von der Leyen if he did not initiate proceedings.
The essence of the rule of law mechanism is that if it is launched, the payment of EU funds and funds can be subject to the rule of law conditions from then on.
The European Commission criticizes the Orbán government for several reasons: according to him, the Hungarian cabinet is in conflict with the basic values of the EU in several areas, such as the independence of the judiciary and its failure to implement the anti-corruption measures required by the union. The economic impact of the conflict is also being felt, as the European Commission has not yet adopted Hungary’s recovery plan due to the objections, which could mitigate the severe effects of the coronavirus epidemic.