Member states jeopardising the rule of law risk losing EU money 

MEPs will vote on Thursday to seal Parliament’s position on rules to freeze EU payments to member states which interfere with courts or which do not tackle fraud and corruption.

If the EU Commission established that “generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law” in an EU country threaten the state’s ability to manage EU funds, the Commission could suggest measures ranging from reducing pre-financing to suspending EU budget payments. Parliament and EU ministers would have to greenlight any decision.

While broadly supporting the Commission’s proposal, Budgets and Budgetary Control Committee MEPs added safeguards to make sure governments would still have to make payments to final beneficiaries, like researchers or civil society organisations, even if EU funding is suspended.

The vote will conclude Parliament’s first reading. It will be up to Parliament in its next term to negotiate the final wording of rules with EU ministers, who have not yet agreed on their common approach.

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure, first reading

2018/0136(COD)

Debate: Wednesday, 16 January

Vote: Thursday, 4 April