How yesterday's ruling could change the European Union
🇪🇺 / rule of law / #82
The compromise had only bought Poland and Hungary time. – In late 2020, a new mechanism was adopted, allowing the EU to reduce funding to countries where rule of law problems negatively affect European taxpayers' money. Poland and Hungary had negotiated a compromise, according to which the law would only apply after the European Court of Justice had ruled on it. Yesterday the court did that - and gave the green light to apply the law.
For the first time, the European Union can target the wallet of those countries whose democracy is in jeopardy. What will this change? First of all: In the future, countries with a lack of rule of law are to expect less money from the European taxpayers. Two opposing incentives emerge for the governments concerned: leaving the bloc and strengthening their rule of law.
Which incentive will prevail in the end will depend on various factors. Which strategy an existing government believes it can use to stay in power. How much opposition parties can score with the new mechanism arguing that a positive side effect of more rule of law will mean more money from Brussels. How successful authoritarian governments can use the court ruling to feed their anti-European speeches arguing that it is better to live without the EU than with one that constantly bosses you around.
My opinion: The new mechanism is not a miracle solution for all of the EU's problems but a solid addition to the toolbox the EU has at its disposal to protect the rule of law in its member states. In that sense, yesterday was a good day.
Have a good day today as well,