Home World EU may not pay COVID-19 aid to Poland and Hungary, who shake the principle of integration

EU may not pay COVID-19 aid to Poland and Hungary, who shake the principle of integration

by news dir

The European Union (EU) said it was considering a hard-line measure to withhold budget payments to member states that do not meet democratic standards. This is a response to the fact that Poland and Hungary have challenged EU law, which has been the cornerstone of EU integration, and have been in conflict with the EU over human rights issues.

“It is a matter of days, or at most weeks, when to implement a plan to withhold budget payments,” EU Commission Minister of Justice Didier Reindus said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on the 17th (local time). We are trying to apply the means,” he said. The measure Reindus mentioned is a ‘conditional regulatory mechanism’ adopted by the EU Parliament in December. Its main content is to suspend budget payments to member states that could seriously affect EU fund management by violating the rule of law of the EU, such as threatening democratic values.

The EU decides whether regulatory mechanisms work by determining whether the judiciary and funding systems are functioning properly and whether they have an independent prosecution service. The mechanism was adopted as a means of deterring violations of basic democratic values ​​by EU member states, but has never been put into practice.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes Polish Prime Minister Matteussi Moraviecki as he arrives for bilateral talks in Brussels, Belgium, on July 3, 2011. | Reuters Yonhap News

The reason why the EU is talking about the super strong budget freeze is because Hungary and Poland are pushing policies that conflict with EU law after the far-right populist governments came to power.

In 2017, Poland’s ruling party, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), pushed for judicial reforms to strengthen control over judges. The EU demanded a correction, saying it was a measure that undermines the independence of the judiciary, but Poland ignored it. In March, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled that the Polish government had violated EU law by attempting to seize justice. Then Polish Prime Minister Matteusi Moraviecki filed a constitutional complaint, asking whether the CJEU decision or the Polish constitution had the upper hand. Then, on the 7th, when the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that the Polish constitution had superiority to EU treaties or decisions, the EU expressed strong objection, saying “EU law is superior to the laws of all individual countries.” In the case of Hungary, in June, a bill restricting the rights of LGBT people was passed and clashed with the leaders of EU member states.

The EU will put in place the actual conditional regulatory mechanism, and Poland and Hungary will be hit hard. The EU has decided to provide a recovery fund worth 750 billion euros (1,040 trillion won) to member countries that have been economically hit by the coronavirus. However, once the regulatory mechanism is launched, Poland will lose 36 billion euros and Hungary 7.2 billion euros.

Poland and Hungary have delivered their opinions to CJEU on the 11th that they oppose the application of the conditional regulatory mechanism. According to Reuters, Polish Prime Minister Moraviecki will discuss the matter with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the EU Parliament to be held in Strasbourg, France on the 19th. The issue is expected to be discussed at the EU summit to be held in Brussels from the 21st. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Luther announced on the 13th (local time) that he would urge the European Commission not to approve payments to Poland of COVID-19 recovery funds.


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