After years of attacks on democracy and the rule of law by some EU member states, for the first time the EU is attempting to address deficiencies in the rule of law by linking funding to the respect of fundamental European values. The European Commission presented a legislative proposal already two years ago, but a watered-down version was only adopted at the end of September by the EU Council. The European Parliament still tries to establish a functioning mechanism to protect the EU budget and the rule of law in member states and started negotiations with the Council. Poland and Hungary already threatened to veto any decision on a strict rule of law conditionality for the EU budget. Many member states are eager to see the EU adopt the multiannual financial framework and the coronavirus recovery funds as soon as possible to rebuild their damaged economies. The European Parliament insists in an effective and strong rule of law mechanism and does not want to approve the EU budget without a functioning budget conditionality.
To exchange views on the position of the European Parliament and the role of the S&D group, we are delighted to discuss with Katarina Barley, Vice-president of the European Parliament and former German minister of justice, together with partners of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung from all over Europe.