Member states jeopardising the rule of law will risk losing EU funds

european budget 2019

(European Council, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Governments interfering with courts or failing to tackle fraud and corruption will risk suspension of EU funds, according to a draft law endorsed by MEPs on Thursday.

Assisted by a panel of independent experts, the EU Commission would be tasked with establishing “generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law” and decide on measures that could include suspending EU budget payments or reducing pre-financing. The decision would only be implemented once approved by Parliament and Council. Once the member state remedies the deficits identified by the EU Commission, Parliament and EU ministers could unlock the funds.
Independent experts to assist the European Commission
The European Commission may establish that the rule of law is under threat, if one or more of the following are undermined:

  • proper functioning of the authorities of the member state implementing the EU budget;
  • proper functioning of the authorities carrying out financial control;
  • proper investigation of fraud – including tax fraud -, corruption or other breaches affecting the implementation of the EU budget;
  • effective judicial review by independent courts;
  • recovery of funds unduly paid;
  • preventing and penalising tax evasion and tax competition;
  • cooperation with the European Anti-Fraud Office and, if applicable, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

To assist the Commission, a panel of independent experts in constitutional law and financial matters, comprising one expert appointed by the national parliament of each member state and five named by the European Parliament, would assess the situation in all member states on a yearly basis and make a public summary of its findings.
Protecting final beneficiaries
Depending on the scope of the shortcomings and the budget management procedure, the Commission can decide on one or several measures, including:

  • suspending commitments,
  • interrupting payment deadlines,
  • reducing pre-financing and
  • suspending payments.

Unless the decision states otherwise, the government would still have to implement the respective EU programme or fund and make payments to final beneficiaries, like researchers or civil society organisations. The Commission would have to assist the beneficiaries and strive to make sure they receive the due amounts.
The Commission would submit a proposal to Parliament and EU ministers to transfer an amount matching the value of the proposed measures to the budgetary reserve. The decision would take effect after four weeks, unless Parliament, acting by majority of votes cast, or Council, acting by qualified majority (so no single member state can block a decision), amend or reject it. Once the EU Commission establishes that the deficits have been lifted, the locked amount would be unfrozen using the same procedure.
Quotes
Committee on Budgets co-rapporteur Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES) said: “The respect of rule of law and all EU values are core principles upon which we built the European project. No government can violate those values without suffering the consequences.”
Budgetary Control Committee co-rapporteur Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI) said: “The most important aspect of this mechanism is the protection of the final beneficiaries – in our model, this is strengthened as compared to the original Commission proposal. We have also included the European Parliament in the decision-making procedure, thus strengthening the democratic accountability of any measures taken.”
Next Steps
The Plenary endorsed the rules by 397 votes to 158, with 69 abstentions. MEPs are now ready to enter negotiations on the final wording of the regulation with the EU ministers, who have not adopted their position yet.
Background
The proposal for the regulation “On the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States” is an integral part of the EU’s long-term budget package, the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

“BEUC cautions against TTIP that would seek to align EU and US chemicals management frameworks”

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

OECD joins with Argentina to fight financial crime

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Trump’s MAGA policy remains unchanged as EU warns to impose additional retaliation tariffs on US products

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

Brexit talks stalled at launch; issues with European Court’s authority in Britain

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

Europe and UN form bulwark against ‘might makes right’ worldview, EU foreign affairs chief tells Security Council

A machine din

Hostages to a rampant banking system

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

Report on EU trade defence – effective protection against unfair trade

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable

INTERVIEW: ‘Defend the people, not the States’, says outgoing UN human rights chief

The UK to split if May’s hard or no-deal Brexit is pursued

UN General Assembly President defends ‘landmark’ migration compact

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

COP24: Huge untapped potential in greener construction, says UN environment agency

Three myths keeping government procurement stuck in the past

Sahel States need international support ‘now more than ever’– UN peacekeeping chief

Why strive for Industry 4.0

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

Berlin favours economic and social disintegration in certain Eurozone countries

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

Oh, well, you are wrong, Google responds to the European Commission

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

3 ways to nurture collaboration between universities and industry

Modern farming is harming the planet. Tech-driven permaculture could heal it

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

China is building 8 new airports a year

EU Budget: InvestEU Programme to support jobs, growth and innovation in Europe

‘Power is not given, power is taken’, UN chief tells women activists, urging push-back against status quo

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s