Motion for a resolution - B9-0206/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092, the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism

17.3.2021 - (2021/2582(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Gunnar Beck, Nicolaus Fest, Nicolas Bay, Jaak Madison
on behalf of the ID Group

Procedure : 2021/2582(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092, the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism


The European Parliament,

 having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget[1], or the ‘rule-of-law conditionality mechanism’,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 11 December 2020,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 30 September 2020 entitled ‘2020 Rule of Law Report – The rule of law situation in the European Union’ (COM(2020)0580), and in particular the country chapter on Germany (SWD(2020)0304) accompanying the report,

 having regard to the suits brought to the Court of Justice of the European Union by Hungary and Poland questioning the legality of postponing disbursement under the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism, C-156/21 (Hungary) and C-157/21 (Poland),

 having regard to the Commission statement of 11 March 2021 on the application of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2092, the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism,

 having regard to its resolution of 26 November 2020 on stocktaking of European elections[2],

 having regard to the answer by President von der Leyen on behalf of the Commission to parliamentary question P-004295/2020,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the rule of law is a catch-all term to denote similar but different philosophical views on the relationship between government and citizens; whereas some schools of thought focus on a rights-based approach, while others are based on a procedural approach; whereas there is no hierarchy between these views; whereas ample academic work by scholars of comparative law shows that there is no unified conception of the rule of law, including within the constitutional traditions of the EU Member States;

B. whereas the rule of law has different and distinct manifestations in the Member States, none of which have much in common with the altogether uncommon, extraordinarily value-laden and unsurprisingly self-serving EU conception of the rule of law;

C. whereas in its more continental interpretation as ‘state rule through law’, the concept means first and foremost that the institutions of the state are bound by law, and that, hence, there must be neither state action without a law nor state action against the law, and any state action may be reviewed by the judicial system;

D. whereas the rule of law as developed in the tradition of the Common law system is often understood as a stock of law which exists independently from the state, even precedes the state, yet binds the state and can be used by citizens against the state, if the rule of law is violated;

E. whereas the EU conception of the rule of law is based, within EU law, on Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which lists the rule of law as one of the founding principles of the Union, equally ranked with human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, and respect for human rights, but not identical to these other founding principles;

F. whereas the common understanding of the EU conception of the rule of law has evolved into a concept sui generis, which has not much to do with either the principle of ‘state rule through law’ or the traditional principle of the rule of law as found in Common law;

G. whereas the Commission seeks on the one hand to bind the Member States to EU law, as under the ‘state rule through law’, putting the Union hierarchically above the Member States, while on the other hand it seeks to replace the traditional content of the rule of law by constructing an artificial and likewise unhistorical set of values and principles;

H. whereas the Commission has been assessing the application of the EU conception of the rule of law since 2010 in the EU Rule of Law report, applying four criteria: quality, efficiency and independence of the judicial system; the fight against corruption; media pluralism; and institutional checks and balances; whereas these rules seem to apply only to the Member States and not to the EU institutions themselves;

I. whereas the Commission uses the EU conception of the rule of law against Member States that do not subscribe to the set of values and principles it has constructed; whereas the Commission is instrumentalising the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism against Poland, Hungary and other states which insist on the supremacy of their traditional values and own, yet equally legitimate, acceptation of the rule of law; whereas this mechanism is a powerful political coercion tool that poses a potential threat to all Member States;

J. whereas the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism is applied unequally as there are a number of Member States which have institutional procedures and state action in place that contradict the traditional understanding of the rule of law; whereas the governing coalitions have the power to appoint Supreme Court judges in Germany; whereas a former deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag was elected to the Federal Constitutional Court, over which he is now presiding; whereas home affairs ministers in Germany have the power to order state attorneys to commence and cease criminal proceedings; whereas the German Government removed from his post the former President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as he was unwilling to launch a surveillance procedure against Germany’s biggest opposition party; whereas, without delay, his replacement began working towards the launching of such a procedure immediately after taking office; whereas German Courts have already twice deemed such action a violation of the law; whereas the persecution of this opposition party is clearly politically motivated, as shown by the effort to stigmatise it ahead of a series of important regional elections and the Federal elections in the early autumn;

K. whereas it is obvious that the Commission is not addressing violations of the rule of law equally; whereas the delay in the adoption of the Guidelines for the Rule of Law Mechanism demonstrates that the Commission is putting political considerations in the Council above EU law by which the Commission is bound;

L. whereas the Commission is nowadays a politicised Commission; whereas the Treaties designate the Commission as the Guardian of the Treaties; whereas a politicised Commission cannot be trusted to apply the law equally;

M. whereas Poland and Hungary have brought suits to the Court of Justice of the European Union questioning the legality of the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism; whereas Article 7 TEU demands that any breach of the principles enshrined in Article 2 TEU be sanctioned only by unanimous decision; whereas Regulation (EU, Euroatom) 2020/2092 on the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism undermines the Treaty, as the Council did not adopt it unanimously;

1. Rejects the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism; considers Regulation (EU, Euroatom) 2020/2092 on the rule of law a violation of the unanimity principle enshrined in Article 7 TEU and therefore a breach of EU law; expects the lawsuits brought against the Regulation to be successful;

2. Recalls that the concept of rule of law cannot be construed as the Commission’s subjective interpretation and application of the law;

3. Notes that the Commission has evolved into a political player rather than the Guardian of the Treaties; underlines that the Member States are, and should remain, the Masters of the Treaties; considers that the Commission has unhealthily outgrown the role it was assigned by the Treaties;

4. Calls for the EU to be reformed to become a Europe which upholds the sovereignty and identity of our European nations and peoples; calls for the EU institutions and the Member States to abandon their economically and politically disastrous centralising vision of ‘ever close union’ in favour of a more restrained type of European cooperation which respects the EU Treaties with its principles of national sovereignty, democracy, transparency, strict subsidiarity and accountability;

5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


Last updated: 18 March 2021
Legal notice - Privacy policy