Saturday, December 4

The European Chamber sues the Commission for not punishing Poland more harshly


Brussels

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The European Parliament as an institution yesterday filed a lawsuit against the European Comission before the Court of Justice of the EU for considering that it has not fulfilled its obligations, has not responded adequately to violations of the rule of law in Hungary and Poland, and has not yet wanted to apply the mechanism that conditions the payment of European funds on compliance with European principles by all member countries. The unusual decision has little chance of success, according to the report of the legal services of the Eurochamber, and shows a certain nervousness on the part especially of the socialist group, which has not found space in the Polish debate, where the left practically does not exist.

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, announced this Friday the decision with a message on social networks. «As demanded by the parliamentary resolutions, our legal services have presented before the Court of Justice an appeal against the European Commission for the non-application of the regulations on conditionality. This regulation on conditionality, adopted last December, allows suspending payments from the EU budget to member states in which the rule of law is threatened, but the Commission has refrained from using it until now, “says Sassoli .

The Commission has responded with another message from its main spokesperson, Eric Mamer, in which it indicates that the Community Executive “takes note” of this decision, but insists that it is already applying this regulation, specifically “developing the corresponding regulation, analyzing potential cases and preparing to send the letters [de amonestación] at the appropriate time.

The popular group has abstained

Parliament’s decision is made on the proposal of the group of the Greens, but has received the enthusiastic support of the social democrats, liberals and the extreme left. The popular group was against, although it has abstained, for not being aligned with the populists that govern Poland and their allies in the European Parliament. This gesture only has a precedent 35 years ago in a minor matter and when the rules of the European institutions were very different. At the moment the result of this procedure is quite uncertain.

The conditionality mechanism that Parliament demands that it be used was approved at the beginning of the year with the package of the new European budget to allow the Commission to block funds from countries that are accused of breaking the European democratic rules. The governments of Hungary and, above all, of Poland are being singled out from multiple angles for behaviors that deviate from basic EU standards, but that did not prevent them from going to the Luxembourg Court to denounce this mechanism as illegal. The judges have not yet resolved this lawsuit against the regulation.

This would already be a good reason for not having launched this superimposed lawsuit against the Commission accusing the institution chaired by Ursula von der Leyen of not using a legal mechanism that is being analyzed by the same court to which they go. More shocking is the fact that Parliament has preferred this path, instead of raising, for example, a motion of confidence against the Commission or an act of disapproval against one of the commissioners. Not to mention the fact that, in Poland, those responsible for the nationalist government may be celebrating the appearance of cracks of this caliber between the community institutions.

At this point, Poland already has to face two firm sanctions that require it to pay a total of 1.5 million a day in fine. One million for not having annulled the disciplinary chamber of judges and another half million for refusing to close a coal mine that is located a few meters from Czech territory.

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