EP urges CJEU to consider conditionality complaint of Poland and Hungary

The European Parliament has asked the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to accelerate procedures in connection with the complaint of Poland and Hungary against the EU's mechanism of linking EU funds with the rule of law, PAP has learnt.

"I know that such a request has been submitted," Polish MEP Patryk Jaki told PAP on Thursday.

In March this year, Poland and Hungary filed a complaint with the CJEU against the EU's new rule of law mechanism that aims to discipline member states infringing European values and allows the withholding of EU funds assigned to them.

In Jaki’s opinion it is "debatable" whether the European Parliament (EP) has the competence for such a move.

"From a moral point of view, the fact that the EP tries to politically pressure the CJEU to act in Poland's case differently than it does normally, speaks for itself," he said.

Jaki added that although he could not predict the Tribunal's ruling would be, he was not an optimist in this matter.

"Their actions so far show they generally have a problem with complying with the law themselves, therefore the decisions may differ," he said.

The rule of law mechanism will apply to systemic breaches of fundamental EU values, such as democracy or the independence of the judiciary, but only in the case when such violations affect or risk affecting the management of EU funds.

In order to be launched, the conditionality mechanism will require a qualified majority vote by all member states. The budget sanctions will apply to governments, but will not affect the final beneficiaries, such as students, researchers, companies and NGOs.

Poland and Hungary are the only two countries in the 27-member European bloc to oppose this clause. Both Warsaw and Budapest have been at odds with the European Commission over what the commission sees as attempts to undermine the rule of law in the two countries.

After a heated debate at an EU budget summit in late 2020, Poland and Hungary agreed to the inclusion of the mechanism in the 2021-2027 European budget, but won some concessions from the EU, including a statement that the funds may not be frozen arbitrarily and can only be withheld if damage or a serious risk to the EU budget is ascertained.