BRUSSELS — European Union negotiators clinched an agreement Thursday that may tie using EU funds to democratic criteria in the bloc’s member nations and unlock countless billions of euros in crisis coronavirus service from the beginning of next year.
Hungary and Poland are mired in EU proceedings over worries their right-wing governments are violating European criteria with legislation and practices which undermine the independence of judges as well as the rights of journalists.
Both nations, whose economies have profited significantly from EU funds because they joined the bloc in 2004, have vehemently opposed any effort to state their accessibility to the cash to the nation of the principle of law.
But under the direction of Germany, that holds the EU’s rotating presidency, discussions with the European Parliament have”reached a provisional agreement on a brand new overall regime of conditionality to guard the Union budget”
The conditions of the arrangement would enter into play when”breaches of these fundamentals of the rule of law at a member nation affect or severely danger affecting the sound fiscal management of the EU funding or the security of their financial interests of the EU at a sufficiently direct manner.”
“Today’s agreement is a landmark for shielding EU values. For the very first time, we’ve established a mechanism that allows the EU to stop financing authorities that emphasize our values like the principle of law,” said Finnish EU lawmaker Petri Sarvamaa, that helped direct the procedure.
The agreement, which should still be formally endorsed by the 27 member countries and the complete EU parliament, is expected to end a deadlock over the bloc’s next seven-year budget along with a huge coronavirus recovery program, all worth a total of about 1.8 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion).
“It’s time now to find agreement on the remainder of the bundle too. We’ve got a historical 1.8 trillion euro financial bundle on the table. With the next wave of the pandemic hitting member countries challenging, there’s absolutely no time to lose,” he explained.