Deadline for European Commission to take action against members in violation of rule-of-law

The European Parliament (EP) is expected to file a lawsuit against the European Commission (EC) today over the Commission’s failure

EU

Photo: Frederick Florin/Pool/AFP

The European Parliament (EP) is expected to file a lawsuit against the European Commission (EC) today over the Commission’s failure to impose penalties on countries that violate EU Law.

The violations in question primarily refer to increasing authoritarianism in countries like Poland and Hungary, which violates an EU law requiring member states to be democratic. The EP holds that EU funds should not go to states which violate EU law. However, the EC has been reluctant to enforce this, or indeed invoke any significant economic or legal mechanism in response to violations.

Expect this lawsuit to result in further penalties on member states displaying increasing authoritarianism. Even if penalties are minor, the lawsuit itself is remarkable. In the past, the EP has had only minor influence on EU policy, but its involvement in one of the biggest challenges facing the EU today indicates an increasingly active role on policy. The strengthening of the EP likely means a more active EU institution, as opposed to a collection of treaties. For countries like Hungary, it’s unlikely that new penalties will change their behavior; many are aligning with other partners like Russia and penalties from the EU seem to only hasten that realignment.

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