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Protection of the Union's budget in case of generalized deficiencies in rule of law

© European Union

The Committees on Budgets (BUDG) and Budgetary Control (CONT) have been jointly responsible for the legislative procedure: Protection of the Union's budget in case of generalized deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. The Committees decided to enter into early second reading negotiations on 12 November 2019 and the mandate for inter-institutional negotiation was announced in plenary on 13 November 2019.

An agreement was reached on 5 November 2020. Parliament's negotiators secured a broad scope of the legislation, ensuring it will not only apply to cases of corruption and fraud, but will also cover breaches of fundamental values such as freedom, democracy, equality and respect for human rights.

Crucially, MEPs succeeded in keeping a strong preventive aspect for the conditionality mechanism and in shortening the time that the EU institutions will have for the adoption of measures against a Member State.

On 12 November 2020, BUDG/CONT voted on the provisional agreement resulting by 54 MEPs voting in favour, 12 against and no abstention. The Council needs to take over the compromise as its first reading position.

Then the text returned to the Parliament for approval first in BUDG/CONT committees on 23 November, and then for the backing by the Plenary in December. Once approved by the EP, the text will be signed into law. The Regulation shall enter into force from the 1st January 2021.