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MEPs have voted that if the European Commission does not initiate its rule of law procedure against Hungary and Poland, the European Parliament will take the Commission to court. David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, has two weeks to call on the Commission to “fulfill its obligations” under the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation.

With 506 votes to 150 and 28 abstentions, the European Parliament has agreed that the new conditionality instrument to protect the use of EU funds must be respected. Since the European Commission has not proposed any measures under the new rules and has missed the deadline to finalize the guidelines of the application of the Regulation, it faces potential legal action.

Rule of Law Concerns Risk of Hungary's EU Funds, Gov't Claims Proceeding Politically Motivated
Rule of Law Concerns Risk of Hungary's EU Funds, Gov't Claims Proceeding Politically Motivated

It seems Viktor Orbán and his administration will need to face huge battles in the EU in the coming time period, less than a year before the 2022 general elections in Hungary.Continue reading

According to the MEPs supporting the instruction, the risk of misuse of the EU budget has grown and rule of law is deteriorating. While President Sassoli calls on the commission, the parliament will begin preparations “for potential court proceedings under Article 265 of TFEU against the Commission.”

What MEPs specifically want is for the European Commission to address the rule of law violations by Hungary and Poland, which jeopardize the “fair, legal and impartial distribution of EU funds.”

Advocate General Advises EU Court to Dismiss Hungarian Action on Article 7 Procedure
Advocate General Advises EU Court to Dismiss Hungarian Action on Article 7 Procedure

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has advised the court to dismiss Hungary’s challenge of the European Parliament’s Article 7 procedure against the country. In his opinion published on Thursday, Michal Bobek noted that the EP launched an Article 7 procedure against Hungary in 2018, citing “a clear […]Continue reading

The European Parliament instructs the Commission to address attacks on media freedom, journalists, and freedom of association and assembly through the use of Article 7 in the EU Treaty, the EU rule of law framework and the infringement procedures.

Hungary has been in a conflict with the European Union on the rule of law since the Sargentini report was adopted in 2018 to determine the existence of its human rights violations. Along with Poland, it is the only nation which is currently subject to potential EU sanctions, as the Union seems to agree on the two countries’ violations of the fundamental rights and values of the European Union.

Justice Minister: EC Set to Renew Rule-Of-Law Debate
Justice Minister: EC Set to Renew Rule-Of-Law Debate

"We are following such events with no illusions but with eternal optimism, especially to see whether the Commission will be able to jump over its own shadow," Varga said.Continue reading

Hungary and Poland have previously tired to challenge the rule of law mechanism in the EU Court of Justice, but their attempts have been unsuccessful. Now it remains the Hungarian government’s position that it is ready for dialogue on rule of law issues, but continues to reject “the politically-motivated witch hunts.”

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga has described the rule of law debate as hypocritical, saying that it primarily serves to enable the European Commission to pressure member states which have views that deviate from the mainstream.”

Featured photo illustration by Vivien Cher Benko/MTI/Prime Minister’s Press Office