Deal on the EU rule of law mechanism
The EU Parliament and Council have reached a deal on the rule of law mechanism. With this instrument in place, for the first time members could have their EU funding cut if they violate principles such as the independence of the judiciary - but only if the violations have a negative impact on the EU budget. Fifteen heads of government representing at least 65 percent of the EU population must give the green light for the mechanism to apply. Who is satisfied with this solution?
Europe is more than just a cashpoint
Deutschlandfunk hails the new instrument as a milestone in the history of the European Union - with one small flaw:
“This new rule-of-law mechanism only takes effect if verifiable violations of fundamental rights could be detrimental to the EU budget. It is therefore not a general instrument for sanctioning every perfidious move by a government, every interference with the freedom of the media, science or art. But it makes it clear that the European Union is more than just a cashpoint from which billions in subsidies can be reliably extracted. ... The new rule-of-law mechanism turn the EU into a well-fortified community based on the rule of law.”
Warsaw won't make a big fuss about this
Polityka is not sure whether the decision will put a stop to the criticised practices of the Polish government:
“Warsaw cannot be happy with the compromise that has now been reached on the broad interpretation of Article 2 (the fundamental values of the EU) and the provision regarding 'threats to the independence of the judiciary'. This is balanced out, however, because the following provision (which the Morawiecki government was happy about) has been left unchanged: the regulation only applies to violations related to the use of EU funding or abuses that threaten the EU's financial interests. If this provision is interpreted 'appropriately', it may mean that the measures will have no consequences for Poland.”