European Parliament to sue Brussels over failure to act on rogue member states

European Parliament to take legal action against European Commission for failing to suspend payments from the EU budget to member states in which the rule of law is under threat

European Parliament President David Sassoli
European Parliament President David Sassoli

The president of the European Parliament has announced a lawsuit against the European Commission over its failure to apply the conditionality regulation.

The regulation, adopted last December, allows the EU to suspend payments from the EU budget to member states in which the rule of law is under threat.

The letter to the legal services of the EP, asking them to prepare the lawsuit, comes after a vote in the Parliament’s legal affairs committee recommending proceedings before the Court of Justice.

A majority of political group leaders in the Conference of Presidents supported this action.

“This action against the Commission concerns a failure to act regarding its obligations in the application of the regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget,” Sassoli told the EP’s legal services.

Sassoli said Parliament will withdraw this legal proceeding if the Commission takes the necessary measures.

There are currently pending Court judgments in the actions for annulment of the Conditionality Regulation brought by Hungary and Poland, which are accused by MEPs of violating Treaty regulations.

“I should be grateful if you could take the necessary steps for the Parliament before the Court of Justice,” Sassoli told the EP’s Juriconsult, Freddy Drexler.

“EU Member States that violate the rule of law should not receive EU funds. Last year, Parliament fought hard for a mechanism to ensure this. However, so far the European Commission has been reluctant to use it,” Sassoli said in a press conference.

“The European Union is a community built on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. If these are under threat in a Member State, the EU must act to protect them. I have therefore asked our legal services to prepare a lawsuit against the Commission to ensure that EU rules are properly enforced.”

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

More in Ewropej