DEO

See you in court? Rule of Law Conditionality: The case of Hungary

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Following a great drama the Council adopted a Rule of Law Conditionality before Christmas. Since then not much has happened, besides several of the implied parties suing each other in court. Will it have an effect – and when? Online debate with Daniel Hegedüs, Katalin Cseh (Hungarian MEP) and Morten Helveg Petersen (Danish MEP).

Before Christmas, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán played the lead role in the melodrama of the Rule of Law Conditionality – would or wouldn´t Poland and Hungary, in the end, veto Next Generation EU, EU’s 750 billion euro recovery fund, meant to support member states hit by economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic?

In the end they would – in order to avoid the Rule of Law Conditionality, which threatened to deprive the two member states with substantial EU-funds if they failed to comply with EU’s values (democracy and Rule of Law) as described in the Treaty’s Article 2. But in the very end both the recovery fund and the Rule of Law Conditionality was sorted out by a diluted compromise that left no one happy – except the governments in Poland and Hungary.

Since then not much happened. The Commission never started enforcing the rules, because of a “gentleman’s agreement” between EU’s heads of states of not doing so until Poland and Hungary has had the chance to question the legality of the whole procedure at the European Court of Justice (EUCJ).

In March Poland and Hungary did exactly that – brought a case to the EUCJ. The European Parliament was not pleased and threatened to take the Commission to the EUCJ for passivity, if it failed to enforce the rules before 1st of June 2021.

Status: much ado, but so far no effect of the Rule of Law Conditionality.

Is this precisely what the Hungarian and Polish government planned for? What exactly is in the Rule of Law Conditionality as agreed in December 2020? Will it eventually have some effects in member states, who break EU’s values? When? These questions form the basis of a debate with Daniel Hegedüs, expert in the democratic backsliding in Central Europe, Katalin Cseh, Hungarian MEP, and Morten Helveg Petersen, Danish MEP. 

The debate is organized by Demokrati i Europa Oplysningsforbundet (DEO). It takes place online Tuesday April 20, 2021, 13:00-14:00. 

The debate is free, but registration is required. You can register here. Then you will receive a link Tuesday morning. From there you can log into the meeting from your computer/tablet. 

For more information, contact:   

Project manager and analyst Vibe Termansen  

70 26 36 66 or vibe@deo.dk

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Vibe TermansenSeniorprojektleder og analytiker

Ekspert i polsk politik, samfund og historie. Følger med i samudviklingen i hele Centraleuropa, derunder demokrati- og retsstatsprincipper, medier, menneskerettigheder, LGBT, historiepolitik, klima, udvandring, fri bevægelighed, og forholdet til udlandet.

Vibe er cand.mag. i historie og østeuropastudier. Arbejdede som journalist og redaktør ved Weekendavisen 2008-18. Desuden har hun arbejdet for Den danske Ambassade i Warszawa, skrevet for Information og holdt foredrag. Hun udgav i 2019 bogen Kampen om Centraleuropa.

vibe@deo.dk

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