Rule of law: Commission triggering of conditionality mechanism against Hungarian government long overdue
Today, the European Commission has just announced it has formally notified the Hungarian government that it is triggering the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism for breaches of the rule of law. The Commission had announced it would trigger the mechanism in early April. The Greens/EFA have long been calling for the Commission to trigger the mechanism, which has been in place since January 2021, to tackle failings in the rule of law in Hungary and elsewhere.
Daniel Freund, Greens/EFA MEP who negotiated the conditionality mechanism for the Budgetary Control Committee, comments:
“Finally after much floundering the Commission has decided to take action. While this step is of course welcome, it’s way too late. Since the mechanism has been in place, the Hungarian government has abused powers to undermine civil society, free media and the opposition, and entrenched its position ahead of the recent election.
“We should not have to wait years for retroactive remedies to solve real time problems. The Commission is guardian of the treaties and must be proactive and consistent in working to safeguard the rule of law and democracy in the EU.”
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur on the rule of law situation in Hungary, comments:
“The Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism is an important tool but will only be able to address one small part of the democratic backsliding in Hungary. Now that Fidesz has maintained their hold on power by strangling independent media and locking up the electoral system, urgent action from the Commission and Council is needed to prevent autocracy from spreading within the EU.
“The Article 7 proceedings have been languishing for too long and we call on the upcoming Czech Presidency of the Council to start working on Council recommendations as soon as they start work in July. The longer the rule of law crisis is left unabated, the weaker our Union will become.”