Last week, the European Parliament and the European Council reached a provisional agreement on a Rule of Law conditionality mechanism that directly links upholding the rule of law to receiving funding out of the EU budget. Moreover, now all the values referenced in the Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union must be respected.
As guardians of liberal values, the ALDE Party has a long history of protecting European citizens against political interference in judiciary system, discrimination of minority groups and restriction of human rights. In our 2019 manifesto, we committed to fight for the establishment of a new mechanism to monitor violations of fundamental rights, civil liberties and the rule of law in the EU member states:
“To protect Europe and our liberal democracies at this contemporary crossroads, the future of the EU can only be based on strong and connected European Union […] We shall establish a new effective mechanism outside the framework of Article 7 of the TEU to monitor violations of fundamental rights, civil liberties and the rule of law in the member states of the European Union on a regular basis. We call on the European Commission, as the guardian of the EU Treaties and on the basis of objective criteria, to enforce sanctions in cases of violations and create stronger conditionality between the rule of law and receipt of European funding.”
Last year at the 40th ALDE Congress, the resolution on the Creation of a European Rule of Law Mechanism was also adopted.
Liberals in the European Parliament were instrumental in the negotiations that helped shape this robust and innovative legislation.
Dacian Cioloş, President of the Renew Europe Group, commented:
“Thanks to our negotiating team and all our family members in the different institutions pushing in the same direction, the mechanism we have agreed has been significantly strengthened, from the scope of the regulation, to protections for non-governmental beneficiaries and a multitude of other areas. This is a ground-breaking mechanism which we believe will play an important role in reinforcing the rule of law and moving the European project forward.”
Katalin Cseh MEP (Momentum, Hungary), Moritz Körner MEP (FDP, Germany) and Michal Šimečka MEP (PS, Slovakia), who played key roles in the relevant European Parliament Committees, also underlined the importance of this achievement as a milestone for everyone who cares about European values and the rule of law.
💶No more EU money for rule breakers: Renew Europe family hails groundbreaking agreement on #ruleoflaw.— Renew Europe (@RenewEurope) November 5, 2020
🗣️@CiolosDacian: "It is unacceptable that some EU countries continue to use EU taxpayer’s money to undermine the fundamental rights of EU citizens.
📰 https://t.co/wDYn2IdEk0 pic.twitter.com/87gHjQAXZ2
Very happy to see this breakthrough. This is an important milestone, so I would like to congratulate everyone involved! #RuleOfLaw #EUbudget@Europarl_EN @EUCouncil @EU_Commission https://t.co/p7diKu2b8p— Věra Jourová (@VeraJourova) November 5, 2020
Photo credit: European Union 2020 - Source: EP / Daina Le Lardic