11 December 2020
On Thursday 10 December, EU leaders came to an agreement on the next seven-year budget of the European Union and the post-COVID-19 Recovery Fund, while also re-emphasising their support for tying EU funding for Member States to certain criteria concerning adherence to the rule of law.
The European Greens welcome the European Council’s renewed support for the long-standing demand of creating an effective rule of law conditionality within the EU’s funding scheme. While the mechanism could still be strengthened and there is certainly room for improvement, it already represents an important step forward in ensuring that democracy and the rule of law in Europe are respected in every Member State and that EU taxpayers’ money is not lost to political corruption.
Thomas Waitz and Evelyne Huytebroeck, co-chairs of the European Green Party, comment:
“We welcome this first historic step forward - it is a good basis for further action. Far too long have governments with authoritarian agendas used the EU as an ATM, withdrawing money into the pockets of cronies, oligarchs and corrupt politicians, while, at the same time, failing to subscribe to the common values outlined in the EU Treaties. The EU budget can no longer serve the personal interests of politicians, neither can it support projects that undermine democracy and that cause loss to the EU or Member States’ budgets.
We regret that the Hungarian and Polish governments negotiated additional hurdles for the conditionality scheme to be implemented from 1 January. Breaches to the rule of law are not a future problem to be ignored: they are a present threat to the EU that must be tackled immediately.”
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