European Council political declarations on Rule of Law Mechanism are “superfluous” as they are not legally binding
Package including long-term EU budget, recovery and Rule of Law conditionality is of “historic importance”
Unanimity rule in Council is outdated and counterproductive
In a resolution to wrap up Wednesday’s debate on the MFF package, MEPs challenge the EU summit declaration to suspend the Rule of Law mechanism pending ECJ approval.
A resolution on the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the Interinstitutional Agreement, the EU Recovery Instrument and the Rule of Law Regulation was adopted in a vote on Wednesday night with 496 votes in favour, 134 against and 65 abstentions.
Parliament welcomes the political agreements on the long-term budgetary package, which includes the new Rule of Law mechanism, and recalls its “historic importance”.
Rule of Law conditionality must fully apply from 1 January
However, the 11 December European Council conclusions, which say that the Commission should not apply the Rule of Law mechanism until the European Court of Justice has made a decision on whether to annul the instrument, are “superfluous”. The agreement between EP and Council clearly states that it will apply from 1 January, MEPs emphasise.
According to EU treaties, the European Council “shall not exercise legislative functions”. MEPs therefore consider “that any political declaration of the European Council cannot be deemed to represent an interpretation of legislation”. The Commission is “completely independent” and the Council conclusions “cannot be made binding on the Commission in applying legal acts”, MEPs add.
Unnecessary delays for EU financing package due to unanimity rule
Parliament strongly regrets that the requirement to have unanimity in Council has unduly delayed the adoption of the MFF and own resources decision, among others. The upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe should work on overcoming these hurdles.