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Hungary, Poland Suit Against Rule-of-law Conditionality ‘Should Be Dismissed,’ ECJ Advocate General Says

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.12.02.

Campos Sánchez-Bordona, the Advocate-General of the European Court of Justice, on Thursday issued an opinion that Hungary and Poland’s suit against the European Union decision to tie EU funding to rule-of-law conditions “should be dismissed”.

The conditionality decision is in line with EU law and the principle of legal certainty, Sanchez-Bordona said in the opinion which precedes a court decision.

Hungary and Poland turned to the ECJ last March with the complaint that the European Parliament’s decree, which was endorsed by the European Council, lacked a legal basis.

In his opinion, Sanchez-Bordona said the decree aimed to protect EU values by implementing a financial conditionality facility rather than implementing sanction mechanisms similar to Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union. The decree requires a “close connection” between violations of the rule of law and the execution of budgetary measures, and so it will be implemented only when the infringement on the rule of law is directly linked with the implementation of the EU budget, he said.

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The Advocate General’s opinion has no binding effect on the ECJ.

featured image: the European Court of Justice discussing the infringement proceeding against Poland on December 1, illustration via MTI/EPA