The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution proposing the swift implementation of the rule-of-law conditionality, which ties the payment of EU funding to member states applying the basic principles of the EU.
The resolution was adopted with 478 votes in favour, 155 against and 29 abstentions. The EP welcomed the European Court of Justice’s recent decision rejecting actions brought against the rule of law conditionality by Hungary and Poland.
The EP called on the European Commission to take “immediate steps” against “grave breaches against the principle of the rule of law in member states”, and said
the conditionality should be applied for funding within the 2021-2027 financial framework as well as the Recovery and Resilience Facility
, an instrument set up to offset the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.
The EP delegation of Hungary’s Fidesz called it “unacceptable” that “the Leftist parties will attempt political blackmail in a war situation”. “Rather than supporting Hungary and Poland’s fight to provide for Ukrainian refugees, Leftist politicians threaten them with blocking their EU funding for political reasons,” the statement said.
The decision is another way of putting pressure on Hungary for the amendment of its child protection law in the summer of 2021, which the EU has called discriminative against the LGBTQ community, the statement said.
Socialist MEP István Újhelyi has called it a “confession” that Fidesz MEPs voted against the resolution, “further strengthening their clear opposition to European values and risking Hungary’s EU funding.”
The EP took a stand by the principle that EU taxpayers’ money should not go to “the pockets of those endangering the EU’s basic principles,”
he said in a statement.
“As Fidesz is obviously incapable of changing its mafia politics, Hungary will have to change governments [at the general election] in April if it wants to access the billions it is entitled to in EU funding,” he said.
The agreement on the EU’s 2021-2027 budget and its recovery fund contains a clause, saying that the conditionality mechanism can be launched only if a member state’s actions “harm the financial interests of the European Union.”