Protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies in rule of law

CONT BUDG
© EP

The Committees on Budgets (BUDG) and Budgetary Control (CONT) are jointly responsible for the legislative procedure: Protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. The Committees decided to enter into early second reading negotiations on 12 November 2019 and the mandate for inter-institutional negotiation was announced in plenary on 13 November 2019.

The Commission proposal defines generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law as including in particular endangering the independence of the judiciary, failing to prevent, correct and sanction arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, and limiting the availability and effectiveness of legal remedies. Protective measures from the Commission includes the suspension or reduction of payments from the EU budget and the prohibition to enter into new legal commitments. The Council decision would be able to veto the Commission's ruling by a qualified majority, but Parliament would have no say.

In April 2019, Parliament adopted its 1st reading legislative resolution on the proposal. Main changes include a new article defining what constitutes generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law where they affect the principles of sound financial management or protection of the EU financial interests, a rule of law mechanism putting Parliament and Council on the same footing.