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Onsdag den 9. juni 2021 - Strasbourg Revideret udgave

11. Retsstatssituationen i Den Europæiske Union og anvendelsen af forordning 2020/2092 om konditionalitet (forhandling)
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  Puhemies. – Esityslistalla on seuraavana neuvoston ja komission julkilausumat oikeusvaltiotilanteesta Euroopan unionissa ja ehdollisuusjärjestelmästä annetun asetuksen 2020/2092 soveltamisesta (2021/2711(RSP)).

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, thank you for organising this important debate. As we all know, respect for the rule of law is critical to guaranteeing the sound functioning of the Union. In recent years, this has been increasingly acknowledged: first with the introduction of a sanctions mechanism in the Treaties; then with the introduction of the annual report by the Commission, which gives Member States an opportunity for self-reflection and exchange of best practices, while ensuring that all Member States are treated objectively and equally; and, finally, with the entry into force, at the start of the Portuguese Presidency, of the new Parliament and Council regulation, which makes it possible to protect the Union budget in case of breaches of the principles of the rule of law.

The rule of law has been a priority throughout the semester of the Portuguese Presidency, since it is a crucial element to guarantee that our common values are well protected and complied with, and ultimately to ensure the very functioning of the Union. We considered paramount the use of all available tools to protect and strengthen the values of our Union and, for this reason, we chose to focus in addition to actions aimed at responding to challenges on constructive instruments, such as the annual rule of law dialogue. The country-specific discussion took place in our General Affairs Council on 20 April and demonstrated once more the importance of a constructive approach that allows Member States to exchange not only best practices but also critical remarks. I have to say that this exchange on the situation in five Member States went very well.

In order to foster a real shared rule of law culture, we also organised a two-day international conference in Coimbra on 17 and 18 May. Mrs Nicholsonová, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), and Mr López Aguilar, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), represented the voice of the European Parliament and its highly valuable point of view at this conference. I would like to thank them once more for their participation.

This forum confirmed the relevance of these issues and the need to involve all stakeholders. In particular, attention was paid to civil society participation. Finally, as I have stated in this plenary before, I can confirm that the Portuguese Presidency, in accordance with its duties, intends to bring forward Article 7(1) of the Treaty procedure in full compliance, and we are planning to place this item on the agenda of the General Affairs Council on 22 June.

Now, moving to the application of the new conditionality mechanism, a theme of this debate, I understand that Parliament expects more tangible and faster results. I know that the Commission has advanced its work on guidelines, which will be essential to ensuring a fair, impartial and fact-based application of the regulation. At the same time, as, you know, in March, two Member States introduced an action for annulment of this regulation. As mentioned by the European Council in its December conclusions and without prejudice to the Commission’s independence, the Council believes it’s important for the Commission to hear the judgment of the European Court of Justice before finalising these guidelines. Indeed, taking the conclusions of the Court of Justice into account in the guidelines would increase the legal solidity of the application of the regulation. This robustness will also facilitate a speedy process on the Council’s side once a proposal has been made by the Commission. We hope that this can take place very soon.

Let me conclude by assuring you that the good functioning of the Union, the protection of its budget and respect for the rule of law will remain a shared objective among us all.

 
  
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  Johannes Hahn, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, I think it’s always useful to have another debate on the rule of law conditionality mechanism. The new regulation on the general regime of conditionality is a key element of the overall MFF and budget package, which has now thankfully been approved and is in force.

All of this is a historic achievement for the Union. The Conditionality Regulation applies since the 1 January 2021 and has been followed up from that date. All relevant breaches affecting the sound financial management of the Union budget and the financial interests of the Union after that date will be covered. I will not tire to repeat that no case will be lost.

Since the beginning of this year, the Commission has been screening all sources available to identify and assess rule of law breaches that may be relevant under the Conditionality Regulation. I have been in close and constructive touch with those of you following this dossier in substance, and I observe many others have stated their views on this.

In this context, the Commission relies on various sources of information, such as the rulings of the Court of Justice or reports of the Court of Auditors. One important source is, of course, the Commission’s annual rule of law report. As you know, the Commission is currently preparing the 2021 rule of law report, whose publication is expected in July. Relevant rule of law issues reported on in the country chapters of the 2021 rule of law report will feed into the Commission’s assessment under the Conditionality Regulation.

The Commission also carefully considers and follows up on complaints or other sources of information on its own motion. The Commission will carry out its own assessment whether these sources and documents constitute reasonable evidence of breaches of the principle of the rule of law in a Member State affecting or seriously risking to affect the sound financial management of the Union budget or the protection of the financial interests of the Union in a sufficiently direct way.

The regulation is not an alternative to the procedure under Article 7 of the Treaty. It’s totally independent from it, as its specific purpose is the protection of the Union budget and the Union’s financial interests. The regulation complements the existing procedures to protect the Union’s budget, including investigations by the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, as well as interruptions, suspensions and financial corrections under the rules of cohesion policy funds and other instruments.

In line with what the co-legislators agreed, the procedure under the regulation will be triggered if the conditions for its application are met, and unless other procedures under Union legislation would allow the Commission to protect the budget more effectively.

The Commission has prepared draft guidelines to bring clarity and predictability on the application of the regulation. My intention is to share this with the Parliament by mid-June, meaning in a few days, as I have indicated this for several weeks now. We want to listen to the views of both the Member States and the Parliament on these draft guidelines. Of course, the guidelines cannot and will not change the law as set by the regulation. The obligations and guarantees established by the regulation will be fully reflected in the guidelines and respected by them.

First, the guidelines deal with the conditions for the adoption of measures which include individual and systemic breaches of the principles of the rule of law. The breaches must of course affect, or seriously risk affecting, the sound financial management of the Union budget or the financial interests of the Union in a sufficiently direct way.

Second, the guidelines explain the relation between the regulation and other sectoral legislation to protect the Union budget and further explain the elements the Commission will assess in order to propose appropriate and proportionate measures. I would recall that these are not sanctions.

The final part of the guidelines explains how to protect the rights of final recipients or beneficiaries of Union funding: an aspect that is very important for the Parliament, for the Commission and for all recipients of EU funding.

So what about the process and the next steps?

The Commission has already been actively working on identifying breaches of the principles of the rule of law and assessing whether they affect the Union budget in a sufficiently direct way. Dialogue with the Member States will be important for the Commission to prepare its assessment.

Once the Commission has reasonable grounds to consider that the conditions for the application of the regulations are fulfilled, it will send a written notification to the Member States concerned.

I have just set out all the action that is ongoing to ensure the conditionality mechanism has the success European taxpayers expect and deserve. In this light, and with reference to the motion for a resolution you have on the table, honestly, I don’t see any justification for bringing court action against the Commission. But of course, it’s your decision.

 
  
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  Petri Sarvamaa, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, I would like to thank Commissioner Hahn and Ms Zacarias of the Presidency for their statements. The Rule of Law Regulation itself is a historic milestone forward in protecting the rule of law in Europe. Some time ago, it was difficult to even imagine this kind of situation where we are now – both in bad, but also a little bit in good – that we have this regulation.

And having said that, I do believe we still need to remain realistic for the time being. Yes, now we finally have the tools to tackle the rule of law deterioration as far as the budget is concerned, but this tool is not a sanction tool on just any rule of law misuse you can find, of which there are many. This is a tool to protect the Union’s budget and it has to be treated and seen as such.

The Commission has promised to deliver us the guidelines we asked for in our March resolution by the first half of June. We are now preparing our own-initiative report on the guidelines, and I hope to see the Commission’s version by next week. I also think it is of utmost importance that the Commission will apply the regulation as soon as possible. But even more than that, for me and for my political group, it is important that the Commission prepares the first cases against some Member States in the best possible way it can.

The first cases have to be watertight. There is no room for us to lose them or have them even corrected in the Court, not if, but when, a Member State challenges them in the European Court of Justice, and only here the regulation and its power will be measured.

So now just my last words, please, Madam President. With this resolution, we instruct the President of Parliament to call on the Commission to act on the basis of Article 265 within two weeks. I hope that in two weeks, in the next mini-plenary, the Commission will be there to provide us with some concrete answers.

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Die Rechtsstaatskonditionalität, die Vergabe europäischer Mittel gebunden an demokratische Rechtsstaatlichkeit, ist seit fünf Monaten in Kraft. Und was geschieht?

Zu Polen entscheidet der EuGH Anfang März, dass Änderungen des Gesetzes über den Landesjustizrat gegen Unionsrecht verstoßen können, da eine effektive gerichtliche Kontrolle von Entscheidungen entfallen ist. Anfang Mai urteilt der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte, dass die Zusammensetzung des Verfassungsgerichtes von Illegalität geprägt ist.

Und Ungarn? Ende Januar ermahnt die Kommission Ungarn, dass umfassende Änderungen am Vergaberecht notwendig sind, um systematischen Betrug beim Recovery Fund zu vermeiden. Anfang März kündigt der ungarische Medienrat rechtliche Schritte gegen RTL Ungarn an: Der Sender hatte öffentlich für Toleranz für Regenbogenfamilien geworben.

Zu Tschechien veröffentlichte die Kommission Mitte April ihren abschließenden Bericht zur Überprüfung von Fördergeldern. Ergebnis: Premier Babiš ist in massive Interessenkonflikte verstrickt, hat gegen EU-Recht verstoßen, Millionen Euro sind zu Unrecht geflossen.

Fünf Monate, drei Mitgliedstaaten. Umso unbegreiflicher, dass die Kommission weiterhin die Verordnung zur Konditionalität nicht anwendet. Dies umso mehr, als die Verordnung sogar für Vertragsbrüche vor ihrem Inkrafttreten angewandt werden kann. Und deshalb ist es unsere Pflicht, die Kommission auf Basis von Artikel 265 EU-Vertrag aufzufordern, endlich ihre Pflicht zu erfüllen und die Verordnung umzusetzen. Sonst ist eine Klage auf Vertragsverletzung durch Unterlassung unausweichlich.

Und warum das so wichtig ist? Es geht um die Verwendung von Steuergeldern und den Schutz unserer demokratischen Werte. Es geht um our European way of life.

 
  
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  Moritz Körner, im Namen der Renew-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Es ist Zeit! Es ist Zeit, dass die Kommission endlich ihre Hausaufgaben macht. Zu lange haben wir in Europa zugeschaut, wie der Rechtsstaat zerstört wird. Es ist Zeit, die Samthandschuhe auszuziehen und endlich Rechtsstaatlichkeit entschlossen zu verteidigen.

Jeder Euro, jeder Euro, der in dunklen Taschen in Europa versickert, ist eine Bedrohung für die Glaubwürdigkeit Europas. Und deswegen sagen wir heute klar als Europäisches Parlament: Das machen wir nicht länger mit! Das werden wir nicht mittragen und verklagen heute die Europäische Kommission wegen Untätigkeit.

Und natürlich liegt es in der Natur der Sache einer Untätigkeitsklage, dass diese nicht mehr notwendig ist, sobald wir Tätigkeit sehen, sobald wir ein Handeln der Europäischen Kommission sehen. Aber ich sage das hier auch klipp und klar für meine Fraktion: Guidelines vorzulegen werden wir nicht als Handeln akzeptieren. Die guidelines stehen nicht in der Verordnung. Sie sind ein Ablenkungsmanöver des Rates, und sie sind eine Verzögerungstaktik. Das werden wir nicht hinnehmen!

Es ist peinlich, dass mittlerweile die USA korrupte Oligarchen in Bulgarien sanktionieren und die Europäische Kommission währenddessen ihre Hände weiterhin in den Schoß legt. Und deswegen können wir das an dieser Stelle nicht weiter akzeptieren.

Und ich will einen letzten Gedanken sagen: Es geht hier auch um die institutionelle Rolle. Akzeptieren wir, dass der Europäische Rat einfach so über einen Beschluss der Gesetzgeber, eine Verordnung hinweggeht? Wir werden das nicht akzeptieren! Und Frau von der Leyen kann entscheiden – und muss entscheiden –, ob ihre Kommission an unserer Seite für Rechtsstaatlichkeit kämpft oder an der Seite von Viktor Orbán und der polnischen Regierung.

 
  
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  Daniel Freund, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, today is the 24th debate on the rule of law, including in Hungary, since Viktor Orbán was elected in 2010. Twenty-four times we have discussed the dismantling of democracy, the attacks on the free media, on independent judges. And all these debates, of course, haven’t stopped Orbán from turning Hungary into a corrupt autocracy right at the heart of the European Union.

First, the Commission looked away. Then the Commission said, ‘we don’t have the tools’. Now you do have the tools, but you are not using it. The Commission remains inactive while the assault on our values, on our rights and on our money continues every day. Orbán’s family and his friends keep stealing our money. And you, Commissioner, have said it again today: ‘no case will be lost’, suggesting that we have time, but we don’t.

In a bit over six months, there is an election in Hungary. And of course, the fate of Viktor Orbán is for the Hungarian voters to decide. But we need to make sure that our EU money is not contributing to rigging or stealing that election. So the inaction of the Commission is highly political, because your inaction allows Orbán to buy support with EU money. Your inaction allows Orbán to control the media coverage of that campaign. And your inaction means that the opposition is not contesting in a fair and free election in Hungary.

And that’s why, after 24 debates, after 10 years, we’re suing the Commission. Because we don’t want the European Union to support the re-election campaign of a corrupt autocrat in Hungary.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, la proposition de résolution commune sur la situation de l’état de droit dans l’Union européenne est inacceptable.

Elle stigmatise en effet de façon caricaturale deux États, la Pologne et la Hongrie, et demande d’appliquer à leur encontre les mesures de rétorsion financières prévues par le règlement du 16 décembre 2020 sur la conditionnalité.

Trois passages sont particulièrement choquants.

D’abord, le considérant F, qui refuse de reconnaître la validité de l’accord trouvé au sein du Conseil pour suspendre ce règlement dans l’attente du jugement de la Cour sur sa légalité.

Ensuite, le point 2, qui viole la souveraineté nationale en affirmant expressément qu’un État membre n’est pas libre de modifier sa constitution comme il le veut.

Enfin, le point 7, par lequel le Parlement prend une fois de plus la défense des migrants, sans vouloir comprendre que nous devrions lutter contre la submersion migratoire qui nous menace plutôt que de l’organiser.

Face à ces dérives, je tiens à mettre en garde la majorité de ce Parlement: l’Union européenne ne survivra pas si elle persiste à violer la souveraineté, l’identité nationale et les traditions constitutionnelles et culturelles de ses États membres.

 
  
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  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, yes indeed, we have a serious problem with the rule of law in the European Union: not in the Member States, but in the EU itself. The violations of the treaties have become more and more frequent. What’s worse, this practice seems to be accepted by the European institutions as well as by the political forces that control them.

Take the so-called rule of law framework. From the very beginning it was obvious that the Treaties disallow such a procedure, if only because it violates the principle of conferral as specified in Article 5. Soon after this framework appeared in 2014, the legal services of the Council of the European Union wrote a devastating critique of the project. What did the Commission and the Parliament do? Nothing. Probably they put the document into the shredder. A couple of years later in 2018, the same legal services presented another critical opinion, even more devastating; the same reaction, silence and the shredder. Even the European Court of Auditors criticised this mechanism and its opinion wound up in the shredder, too. Then the Parliament came up with the rule of conditionality, which in the form proposed by the Parliament, is simply a legal monstrosity, violating almost everything that can be violated.

What it can and probably will amount to we have all heard in the statement of some of the speakers this afternoon, and many of those who follow will probably continue in the same vein. To say that these remarks are being made in complete disregard for the rule of law, as specified in the Treaties, would be an understatement. If anyone wants to know what the contempt for law is like, well, that was it.

The Council introduced some rationality to the mechanism and I can see to my satisfaction that the Commissioner does not want to go beyond what the Treaties allow. I should be satisfied, and in a way I am. But we have heard other statements from other Commissioners in the past with the opposite message, so I’m not sure what the Commission’s ultimate position is. Aren’t you by any chance playing a good cop-bad cop game?

This sense of uncertainty which I feel is shared by millions of people in Europe. The Treaties are being strained, reinterpreted at will, twisted. They no longer give protection, but have become the instruments of the ruling majority to strengthen its hegemony. This tendency unfortunately seems to include the Court of Justice. As you might remember, this Parliament launched Article 7 against Hungary after having introduced a last-minute change in the voting procedure, excluding abstentions. This was definitely foul play, and without the change, the anti-Hungarian majority would have lost. This was clearly a breach of Article 354, which explicitly stipulates that all votes cast should be included. But just recently, the Court of Justice intervened in an epoch-making ruling to the effect that abstentions are not to be qualified as votes cast. The ruling is not only an assault on human intelligence. This is law in the service of party politics, but more importantly, this is a sign that for the Court of Justice as well as for other European institutions, anything goes as long as they can have their way.

So what we have seen so far on the condition of the debates in the Parliament and outside it has been a rather depressing spectacle. Commissioner, I wish your statement could mark a change in this abominable practice of a cavalier approach to the Treaties, but something is telling me that such a conclusion may be premature, and considering this Parliament’s plan for the future of Europe, I fear the worst.

 
  
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  Younous Omarjee, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, l’Europe s’est construite pour la paix, dans l’adhésion partagée par tous d’un contrat fondé sur le respect des valeurs de liberté, d’égalité et de démocratie.

Ne vous méprenez pas: notre combat pour le respect de l’état de droit est un combat historique pour la survie de l’essence même de l’Europe. C’est un combat pour l’Europe, mais c’est aussi un combat pour le monde, car si la démocratie recule en Europe, elle reculera partout ailleurs. Nous ne pouvons pas continuer à laisser les gouvernements liberticides et corrompus agir en toute impunité et prendre le risque que s’étende demain sur toute l’Europe une ombre encore bien plus opaque que celle d’aujourd’hui.

Voyez-vous, lorsqu’il s’est agi de déclencher contre les pays du Sud les plans de coupes budgétaires, jamais la Commission européenne n’a reculé. Mais lorsqu’il s’agit des droits fondamentaux, la Commission, par manque de courage peut-être, se dérobe et laisse sans protection les citoyens européens. C’est insupportable, et ce alors même que notre Parlement a décidé du mécanisme «état de droit», qui doit s’appliquer maintenant contre les États qui non seulement sont contents d’offenser des valeurs, mais plongent dans la corruption sur les fonds de cohésion européens et rient de nous.

Alors, je vous le dis calmement mais fermement: en état de droit, quand le Parlement décide, la Commission doit s’exécuter.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Pani predsedajúca, ja mám skutočne dojem, akoby boli veci postavené hlavou naopak. Akoby sme zabudli, že to nie Európska únia tvorí štáty, ale že štáty tvoria Európsku úniu.

Štáty a občania majú diktovať, ako má Európska únia vyzerať, a nie Európska únia má diktovať občanom, ako si majú vytvárať štáty.

V tomto okamihu je skutočne podľa môjho názoru potrebné postaviť sa na stranu Poľska a Maďarska, ktorým je neprávom krivdené.

Veď uznesenie alebo nariadenie o režime podmienenosti rozpočtu je na súde, a nie je ešte stále ani právne záväzné.

Aj zo Slovenska vravíme, že keď bude Európska únia vytvárať takýto veľký tlak a bude ho stupňovať, tak štátov ako Poľsko a Maďarsko bude v budúcnosti len pribúdať.

Nie preto, že by neboli demokratické, ale preto, že si neželajú, aby im Európska únia diktovala, ako má vyzerať.

A neželá si to čoraz viac občanov, o čom svedčia aj výsledky posledného Eurobarometra.

 
  
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  Tomáš Zdechovský (PPE). – Paní předsedající, pane komisaři, Evropská unie je vlajkovou lodí demokracie. Dalším společným dědictvím politických principů je právě i úcta k lidským právům a dodržování právního státu. Právní stát je alfa i omega veškerého dění v Evropské unii, a proto je možná strašně důležité, aby se právní stát jako princip dodržoval.

Ano mají ho dodržovat členské státy, to tady bylo několikrát zmíněno. Ale co když ho členské státy, které tvoří Evropskou unii, nedodržují? Co když členské státy zapomněly na to, k čemu se zavázaly na začátku? Jedná se totiž o křehký systém, o který se musíme starat. Správně nastavené soudnictví, protikorupční systém nebo také nezávislá policie, svoboda projevu, svobodné volby, to jsou přece věci, za které musíme neustále bojovat.

Pořád vidíme, že někdo přichází, nějaký spasitel, nějaký oligarcha, který si myslí, že si nás všechny koupí a bude diktovat podmínky tak, aby vyhovovaly jemu a jeho firmám. Je důležité, abychom se snažili tento systém demokracie oprostit od vlivu určitých lidí. Je důležité, aby právě tady fungovaly nezávislé instituce, které jsou schopny vyšetřit některé kauzy. Sami můžeme vidět v některých zemích, jak jsou kauzy vlivných politiků zametány pod koberec. A o to je dnes tato debata důležitější. Věřím, že se v této debatě posuneme dopředu.

 
  
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  Isabel García Muñoz (S&D). – Señora presidenta, comisario Hahn, secretaria de Estado Zacarias, el presupuesto europeo debe implementarse cumpliendo con el principio de buena gestión financiera, pero para ello es imprescindible que se respeten los principios sobre los que está fundada la Unión, en particular, el Estado de Derecho. Es alarmante la situación que estamos presenciando en algunos Estados miembros, donde el Estado de Derecho se está deteriorando de forma muy grave.

Si no hay garantías de que las autoridades de un Estado miembro actúan de acuerdo con la ley, de que el fraude y la corrupción son perseguidos y castigados por una justicia independiente, o de que medios de comunicación libres y plurales puedan informar a la ciudadanía, no pueden recibir fondos europeos.

Señor comisario, este Parlamento no insiste en la aplicación del mecanismo de condicionalidad por capricho. Es una necesidad incuestionable y cada día que pasa se hace más urgente actuar. No podemos poner en juego la recuperación de Europa por una mala gestión de los fondos.

Lo hemos repetido en muchas ocasiones: el Reglamento relativo a la condicionalidad está en vigor y es directamente aplicable desde el 1 de enero. La Comisión ha querido adoptar unas directrices para su aplicación contraviniendo a los colegisladores. Pero es que seis meses más tarde aún las estamos esperando. Podemos entender la cautela y, por supuesto, todos queremos que se hagan bien las cosas. Pero ha pasado mucho tiempo sin noticias de la Comisión, lo que consideramos inacción.

Confío en que reaccione a esta llamada de atención y en que veamos muy pronto esas directrices, pero sobre todo lo que realmente importa: que se investiguen y se ponga fin a las graves violaciones del Estado de Derecho que afectan al presupuesto de la Unión. Ese es nuestro objetivo. No hay tiempo que perder. Cada ataque al Estado de Derecho es un ataque a las libertades y derechos de los ciudadanos europeos.

 
  
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  Puhemies. – Tämä oli tulkeilta mestarisuoritus, sillä tuskin kukaan voi puhua yhtä nopeasti kuin Te äsken. Pyytäisin, että puhumme hieman hitaammin, sillä silloin myös omaksuu tätä vaikeaa ja tärkeää asiaa paremmin.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, I have 90 seconds to describe to the House why we stand zero chance of protecting our historic EU budget unless the Commission starts applying the rule of law conditionality immediately. Not in a few months, not after some guidelines are adopted, but right away.

So in 90 seconds, so let me tell you about the son—in—law of Viktor Orbán, who continues to pocket fortunes of EU subsidies despite that EU investigators concluding that he is guilty of defrauding the Union.

Or there is the childhood best friend of Mr Orbán, a former humble gas fitter, who is now the richest man of Hungary with a company growing faster than US tech giants and who, by the way, pocketed over one billion euros worth of subsidies. He was just seen recently installing an 800-kg safe in his new luxury villa. Maybe he’s also waiting for the recovery funds to start flowing.

So this is the reality on the ground. What we have been talking about for years and why we created the conditionality mechanism. So why does the Commission refuse to apply it? Is it naivety? Is it political pressure? Or just officials brushing this issue under the rug saying it’s a small Member State that’s far away while our own European money is at stake and while orbánism is spreading like wildfire.

If the Commission President would be directly elected, then she would need to look voters in the eye and explain the results and the reasons behind her inability to act. But this Parliament is the voice of 450 million citizens, and we won’t back down until this mechanism is applied. And yes, we are willing to go to court for it because citizens demand and deserve results from us.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I remember very well the first time I came here to the European Parliament in Brussels. It was a hot and sunny September day, just after the summer break. I came out of the metro and there were cars, buses, and people speaking all kinds of languages all around me. As I was walking towards the European Parliament, it really looked like this ginormous beehive made out of concrete and glass. It was humming, it was full of life while, at the same time, many things actually seemed a little bit improvised and maybe even messy.

I must be honest that probably this building taught me more about the European Union than what I had previously learned in school in textbooks or infographics. Because this Parliament, with its many doors and corridors, all the different shapes and styles, the sheer massiveness of the place, the extensions and annexes that came with the time, even the grey carpet and the art pieces all around the house, really are a perfect metaphor of the European Union because they show our diversity and, at the same time, show the imperfection and incompleteness of this project.

But, just like this building, just like any other building, the European Union needs, more than anything, a strong fundament – no single market, no freedom of movement, no Erasmus without a common basis that we can all stand on. And this fundament is actually pretty clearly spelled out in the Treaties in Article 2: democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

But we all know that this fundament is under heavy attack. The basis that unites us all, the precondition for the existence of the European Union, is being dismantled as we speak. But, instead of defending it, the European Commission has been watching, monitoring and writing reports over the past years, without, I must say, obviously fully grasping the seriousness of the situation we are in and without seeing the urgent need to stabilise our common fundament because that needs action. Now.

The European Parliament is ready to do what it takes in order to defend this common fundament and, if it takes pressure to make the Commission do the same, pressure you will get.

 
  
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  Joachim Kuhs (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar Hahn, Frau Zacarias, werte Kollegen! Wir streiten heute um etwas, wo mich sehr wundert, dass wir hier das Wort sogar dann in den Mund nehmen. Wir wollen die rule of law verteidigen, und im gleichen Augenblick verstoßen wir massiv gegen Verträge, wenn wir meinen, wir könnten einfach die Kommission wegen Untätigkeit verklagen.

Ich möchte auf etwas hinweisen, was aus meiner Sicht etwas zu kurz kommt in der ganzen Diskussion. Es gibt die sogenannten Schlussfolgerungen des Europäischen Rates vom 11. Dezember 2020. Nummer 2 Ziffer c besagt Folgendes – ich habe es mal zusammengefasst:

Erstens: Die Kommission entwickelt und erlässt Leitlinien. Zweitens: Die Mitgliedstaaten werden eng in diese Entwicklung einbezogen. Drittens: Bei einer action for annulment bezüglich dieser Regelungen werden die guidelines erst nach der Entscheidung des Europäischen Gerichtshofes finalisiert; damit soll sichergestellt werden, dass die guidelines alle wesentlichen Elemente der Gerichtsentscheidung beinhalten. Und solange die guidelines nicht finalisiert wurden, wird die Kommission keine Maßnahmen nach dieser Regulierung vorschlagen. Es ist doch ganz einfach. Und warum soll das nicht gelten?

(Mehrere Zwischenrufe aus dem Plenum)

Ich bitte Sie, schaden Sie bitte nicht unseren Europäischen Institutionen! Treiben Sie keinen Keil zwischen diese Institutionen, indem der eine sich gegen die anderen wendet! Letztendlich sprengen Sie die Europäische Union – das wollen Sie doch wirklich nicht.

 
  
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  Nicola Procaccini (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, lo Stato di diritto è una cosa seria. È la più grande conquista della civiltà europea ed occidentale. Il punto di arrivo di un percorso lungo e nient'affatto facile. Non può essere utilizzato come arma di battaglia politica. Non vogliate ridurlo a strumento per indurre forzatamente un popolo a votare per un partito o per un altro. Oggi c'è una maggioranza di centrosinistra che utilizza lo Stato di diritto contro i governi di centrodestra, ritenuti colpevoli di voler rappresentare i valori in cui credono e per difendere i quali hanno ricevuto un mandato pienamente democratico.

Domani potrebbe cambiare la maggioranza qui dentro, ma resterà lo scempio di questo attacco ingiusto e violento all'autodeterminazione dei popoli. Ricattare economicamente i popoli europei, persino di fronte alle conseguenze della peggiore pandemia dell'era moderna, è una scelta vile, che non rende onore ai padri fondatori di questa Unione, che non rende onore al nostro futuro insieme.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Αρβανίτης (The Left). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, θα συνεχίσω τη σκέψη μου από εκεί που σταμάτησε ο συνάδελφός μου, o Younous Omarjee. Σήμερα απαιτούμε από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή να εφαρμόσει στην πράξη τον κανονισμό αιρεσιμότητας που καταφέραμε, με πολύ κόπο, με πολλή προσπάθεια, να θεσπίσουμε. Δηλαδή, ζητάμε από την Επιτροπή, και στην πράξη πλέον, να προβεί σε οικονομικές κυρώσεις για την προστασία των θεμελιωδών εννοιών και αρχών μας. Για την προστασία των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, της δημοκρατίας, του κράτους δικαίου, της ισότητας, της ελευθερίας, της ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας.

Δεν γίνεται με ευρωπαϊκά κονδύλια να χτίζονται απάνθρωπα κέντρα κράτησης για τους πρόσφυγες και τους μετανάστες. Δεν γίνεται υπουργοί να κάνουν δηλώσεις για εκκρεμείς δίκες διαφθοράς και να προεξοφλούν το αποτέλεσμα ή εισαγγελείς που χειρίζονται υποθέσεις διαφθοράς να διώκονται. Δεν γίνεται δημοσιογράφοι να διώκονται και να δολοφονούνται σε κράτη μέλη μας — και όχι μόνο στη Μάλτα.

Να απαγορεύουν στα υπουργεία την κατάθεση δημοσίων υπαλλήλων μόνο όταν η αλήθεια είναι σε βάρος της διοίκησής τους. Για όλα αυτά, και για άλλα τόσα, δεν δεχόμαστε να χρησιμοποιούνται ευρωπαϊκά χρήματα για διακρίσεις και αποκλεισμούς πουθενά και για κανένα κράτος.

 
  
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  Sabrina Pignedoli (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi in questo Parlamento si parla di Stato di diritto. Ieri in Italia, per l'ennesima volta, un magistrato è stato sottoposto a misura cautelare perché, secondo l'accusa, avrebbe svenduto il suo incarico per arricchimento e carriera aggiustando i processi.

A fronte di centinaia di magistrati che svolgono il loro ruolo in silenzio e con dedizione, in Italia è emerso un sistema di nomine condizionate da esponenti di partiti politici e da correnti e cordate interne alla magistratura stessa. Ci sono uffici giudiziari importanti dove il capo è stato deciso con questo sistema clientelare, dove i magistrati indipendenti e con pensiero libero vengono messi in un angolo e viene impedito loro di lavorare.

Ci sono sentenze che sono state pilotate grazie a questo sistema, presunte logge o comitati d'affari che avrebbero condizionato l'amministrazione della legge, indagini omesse o archiviate sulla base dell'assunto "i favori per gli amici, la legge per gli altri".

Lo chiedo a voi colleghi: con questa situazione, si può in Italia parlare del rispetto dello Stato di diritto?

 
  
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  Monika Hohlmeier (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Frau Staatssekretärin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Der Gegenstand der heutigen Diskussion befasst sich wieder einmal mit dem Thema der Rechtsstaatlichkeit, und zwar Rechtsstaatlichkeit vor dem Hintergrund, dass sie auch die finanziellen Interessen der Europäischen Union schädigen könnte. Wir haben dieses historische Instrument gemeinsam durchgesetzt. Jetzt geht es darum, es auch umzusetzen. Man darf allerdings nicht die verschiedenen Dinge völlig durcheinanderbringen.

Wir haben verschiedene Rechtssetzungen, vor deren Hintergrund wir auch handeln dürfen. Es ist auch kein parteipolitisches Instrument. Es muss ein Instrument sein, das von vorne bis hinten adäquat umgesetzt, angewendet, neutral eingesetzt wird und wo nicht die eine Seite versucht, sich von Haus aus freizusprechen, und sozusagen die anderen, es im Wahlkampf einzusetzen. Das, was wir brauchen, ist eine sorgfältige Umsetzung.

Und ich habe vor diesem Hintergrund, Herr Kommissar, folgende Bitte: Es darf nie der Eindruck entstehen, dass potentiell betroffene Regierungen oder auch Regierungschefs über die Umsetzung einer gültigen Rechtsetzung der Europäischen Union entscheiden oder diese Umsetzung verhindern. Dieser Eindruck darf nicht einmal im Ansatz entstehen, weil das fatal wäre, wenn dieser Eindruck sich durchsetzen könnte.

Es geht aber auch nicht darum, ob die Kommission in nationalstaatliches Recht eingreift – das möchte ich den Kollegen von der rechten Seite mitteilen, – denn es ist die Aufgabe, dass die Grundpfeiler unserer Rechtsstaatlichkeit eingehalten werden. Dazu gehört eine Unabhängigkeit der Justiz, dazu gehören ordnungsgemäße, neutrale Staatsadministrationen, da gehört es sich nicht, dass Oligarchen sich das meiste Geld cashen können in bestimmten Mitgliedstaaten.

Wir brauchen eine Neutralität, und die Steuerzahler erwarten, dass wir gut und sorgfältig, ehrlich und fair mit den Steuerzahlergeldern umgehen. Um nicht mehr und nicht weniger geht es.

Liebe Kommission, ich bitte, die guidelines bzw. die Methodologie vorzulegen, und ich bitte auch darum, das Parlament darüber zu informieren, an welchen Fällen Sie konkret arbeiten. Wenn es sein muss, kann dies auch in einer nichtöffentlichen Sitzung sein, aber es ist wesentlich, das Parlament präzise darüber zu informieren, wie die Kommission vorgeht, damit noch nicht einmal der Eindruck entstehen kann, und dass auch Verfahren in Gang gesetzt werden, wo man eindeutige Erkenntnisse hat.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, a União Europeia dispõe dos instrumentos necessários para fiscalizar, avaliar e responder adequadamente aos problemas em matéria de Estado de direito e proteção dos direitos fundamentais.

Instrumentos de prevenção e promoção, como o relatório anual sobre o Estado de direito, e instrumentos de resposta, seja o artigo 7.º ou o procedimento por infração do artigo 258.º. Mas as instituições europeias têm revelado uma enorme incapacidade em fazer cumprir políticas europeias várias, enquanto o Parlamento Europeu tem feito o seu trabalho. Em matéria de Estado de direito, é gritante. Poderia dar outros exemplos, como a política para os refugiados.

É imperativo, é inadiável que a Comissão enquanto guardiã dos Tratados aja contra todas as violações persistentes e mobilize todos os instrumentos, desde logo o Regulamento sobre o mecanismo da condicionalidade do Estado de direito, em vigor desde 1 de janeiro, que introduz um mecanismo com consequências efetivas para cumprir e fazer cumprir.

 
  
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  Valérie Hayer (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, chers collègues démocrates, certains sur ce continent remettent en cause les principes démocratiques qui nous animent. Montesquieu doit se retourner dans sa tombe, à l’heure où nous laissons des apprentis autocrates entamer des réformes perfides, destinées à anéantir toute forme de contre-pouvoir. C’est une honte. L’heure est grave, alors j’accuse.

J’accuse les ultra-conservateurs dans ce Parlement et dans leurs pays de saper des siècles de construction démocratique. En jouant de l’unanimité, ils ont échappé aux sanctions et condamné l’Union à l’inaction, cette même inaction qui a conduit les peuples au sentiment d’abandon. Mais désormais, chers collègues, une minorité ne peut plus nous empêcher de les toucher au portefeuille: on l’a voté!

Alors, Monsieur le Commissaire, notre message est clair: soit la Commission défend nos démocraties, soit nous la traînerons devant la justice.

 
  
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  Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Czas, aby Unia Europejska w końcu odpowiedziała sobie na pytanie, na jakich wartościach się opiera. Co nas łączy jako wspólnotę? Szacunek dla praw człowieka czy tylko autostrady? Jakie są nasze wspólne fundamenty? Równość i godność wszystkich ludzi czy tylko polityka rolna? Czego i kogo chcemy bronić? Kobiet doświadczających przemocy czy tylko gospodarki w kryzysie?

Komisja Europejska, stojąc na straży Traktatów, jest zobowiązana walczyć o praworządność, a walka o praworządność to nie tylko walka o niezależność sądownictwa, ale przede wszystkim o fundament praworządności, o prawa człowieka. A może Komisja nie ma już motywacji? Uważa, że się nie da. Pytam, bo mijają dwa lata działania Komisji, a Komisja nie podejmuje skutecznych działań, gdy polski rząd łamie prawa osób LGBT+, odbiera kobietom prawo do aborcji i atakuje konwencję antyprzemocową. Czas odpowiedzieć na pytanie, czy takiej Komisji chcemy.

 
  
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  Mislav Kolakušić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, Europska unija je zajednica samostalnih, ravnopravnih i suverenih država. Građani su u državama negdje izabrali desnu vlast odnosno desnu ideologiju, u drugim državama lijevu, u trećim državama su izabrali ideologiju centra. Mi ovdje pod vladavinom prava guramo ideologiju. To je apsolutno nedopustivo. Moramo ograničiti vladavinu prava na korupciju. Korupcija vlada u brojnim državama prilikom raspodjele sredstava iz europskih fondova. Međutim, ni na koji način ne smijemo uključiti ideološke poglede i nametati drugim državama poglede drugih država i drugih ideologija. Moramo se vratiti isključivo na korupciju i samo time se baviti.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to welcome the Commissioner back to the European Parliament.

In recent years, with a very large majority here in the European Parliament, we have repeatedly called for the strengthening of the rule of law inside the European Union and outside the European Union. We saw this as a core value of the European Union. We said that all of the tools at our disposal had to be applied and, if new tools were needed, we should create those new tools.

As of 1 January, the rule of law conditionality mechanism is in place. This is a big victory, including for pro-European forces in this House. Although we never believed that guidelines for the implementation of this regulation were needed, we are now looking forward to receiving them from the Commission. We have now accepted that they are coming and we are going to provide our reaction to them in a report of this House. We also take note that they will be slightly delayed, but our message is clear. More delays are not acceptable. It’s time that these guidelines came so that we know exactly how we apply this regulation.

I believe it has to be applied in a very rigorous and meticulous manner, exactly as the Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control said, in a way which is objective, not political, and in the same manner with regard to all cases that appear, irrespective of the country in which they appear.

Our call to the Commission now is to build solid cases in the beginning because the whole credibility of this initiative in the future very much depends on the success of the first cases. They should be solid and done in a way in which they cannot be challenged or contested. We trust in the Commission.

 
  
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  Елена Йончева (S&D). – Уважаема г-жо Председател, преди малко повече от половин година приехме Регламента за обвързването на европейските средства със състоянието на върховенството на закона. Голямата победа обаче остана само на хартия. Комисията не намери начин да започне прилагането на този исторически регламент.

Г-н Комисар, аз не искам да се задейства наказателна процедура срещу Комисията, но това решение е без алтернатива. Години наред водим дебати, а през това време върховенството на закона рухна в Унгария, Полша, България, Словения. Колко дълъг трябва да стане списъкът, за да започнете да прилагате закона с цялата му тежест?

А преди седмица България беше разтърсена от най-мащабните санкции по закона „Магнитски“ за корупция и злоупотреба с власт. Защо нашите американски партньори успяват да констатират това, което Европейската комисия трябваше да направи отдавна? И все пак вярвам, че Комисията ще намери решителност, за да изведе битката на върховенство на закона на качествено ново ниво. И ако не може, ние сме готови да дадем нужния тласък пред съда, защото политиците не трябва да взимат лесни решения, а правилните решения.

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΑΠΑΔΗΜΟΥΛΗΣ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld (Renew). – Mr President, with due respect to the Minister and the Commissioner personally, I do not think this is a budget matter. This is Chefsache. This is about the values of the European Union. It goes to the heart of what we are about and I think Ms von der Leyen and Mr Michel should have been here. I will not try to convince Commission and Council, because they have chosen sides a long time ago: the side of the enablers. So it’s for this House to stand up for the rule of law and for the EU democratic constitutional order.

I hear colleagues saying no, we need to wait, we need more time, we need more information, we need guidelines. No, colleagues! Time matters. With every day that we wait, democracy and the rule of law die a little bit more, so any delay – any delay – is guilty.

So we have to choose sides today. Are we on the side of the enablers, or are we on the side of the defenders of the European values? I know what side I am on, along, I hope, with a majority of this House.

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, all EU citizens have the right to be protected against arbitrariness and corruption and to have their rights protected by independent courts. We have those safeguards on paper, but paper reality doesn’t protect people. So it’s high time that the EU institutions take our own rules seriously.

Council and Parliament have enabled the Commission to act as a reliable and effective guardian of the Treaty. But this comes with a big responsibility. If rule of law is at stake, the competence to enforce compliance transforms into an obligation to act, and we don’t have time to lose any more. Parliament has already made it clear: we don’t accept hesitance or fake political considerations.

Our EU money may never facilitate corrupt or autocratic regimes. We will bring the Commission to court in case of inaction. But we also call upon the Member States to join us and to show that the EU is united and ready to protect the citizens and protect the EU budget.

 
  
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  Ádám Kósa (NI). – Tisztelt Elnök úr! Az európai baloldal egyértelmű célja megbüntetni azokat, akik nem értenek egyet velük, akik nemet mondanak az illegális migrációra, a nemzeti hatáskörök lopakodó elvonására, a genderőrületre. Ez sajnos nem újdonság.

Az Európai Bizottság helyesen jár el, amikor az Európai Unió Bíróságának döntését megvárja, és aszerint jár el. Tudjuk, hogy Magyarország különösképpen a baloldal célkeresztjében van. Hazánk ellen folytatott hajtóvadászatban a magyar baloldal is jelentős részt képez. Nem csoda, hogy az Európai Parlament baloldali többsége minden eszközt bevet az eltérő állásponton levők megbüntetéséért.

Különösen szomorú, hogy az Európai Néppárt engedett a baloldal nyomásának, kiszolgálja a baloldal elvárásait, és asszisztál ahhoz, hogy az Európai Parlament társjogalkotó intézményből politikai rendőrséggé alakuljon át.

 
  
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  Andrzej Halicki (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Rozporządzenie o ochronie budżetu Unii Europejskiej i ochronie zasad praworządności weszło w życie 1 stycznia. Musimy reagować, musimy działać, kiedy jest to niezbędne i potrzebne, bo naszym obowiązkiem jest ochrona praw obywateli, ochrona pieniędzy unijnych podatników, ochrona niezawisłości sądów, po to żeby mieć gwarancje prawne, ochrona wolnych mediów, bo to jest filar demokracji. I to nie jest kwestia lewicowości czy prawicowości. To jest nasz obowiązek jako tych, którzy troszczyć się mają o wydawanie środków unijnych zgodnie z ich przeznaczeniem. Dlatego jako szef delegacji polskiej Platformy Obywatelskiej i Polskiego Stronnictwa Ludowego potwierdzam, tak, stoimy mocno na straży praworządności, a naszym adwersarzom chcę powiedzieć tylko jedno. Nie obrażajcie się i nie obrażajcie innych. Nie obrażajcie sądów i europejskich instytucji. Wystarczy być wiernym tylko jednemu przykazaniu. Zresztą cytat pochodzi od was: Wystarczy nie kraść. Wystarczy nie łamać prawa. Wtedy żaden rząd nie musi się obawiać tych mechanizmów, które funkcjonują od 1 stycznia. Mam nadzieję ku satysfakcji wszystkich Europejczyków.

 
  
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  Robert Biedroń (S&D). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Nie da się ukryć, dostaliście dzisiaj kubeł zimnej wody, musicie się ogarnąć. Tak dalej być nie może, bo z tego miejsca podczas kolejnych debat bronimy demokracji na całym świecie, mówimy o naszych wartościach, demokracji, prawach człowieka, praworządności, oczekując jednocześnie, że te wartości będą realizowane na całym świecie. A w samej Unii Europejskiej nie jesteśmy w stanie doprowadzić do tego, żeby Kaczyński i Orbán nie traktowali Unii Europejskiej jak bankomatu, z którego bez żadnych reguł, bez żadnych warunków mogą wyciągać pieniądze. Tak być nie może, bo w grę wchodzi wiarygodność, wiarygodność Unii Europejskiej nie tylko tutaj, nie tylko wśród społeczeństw Unii Europejskiej, ale i na całym świecie. Dlatego wasza reakcja musi być natychmiastowa.

 
  
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  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Mr President, it’s now six months following the entry into force of the Conditionality Regulation and we are still yet to see any sign of concrete action and concrete sign that the Commission is actually applying the law. This is rather disturbing given that in the meanwhile, the rule of law crisis rages on in countries like Bulgaria, like Poland or Hungary.

This is not the first time that the Commission is dragging its feet when it comes to the rule of law, and we have seen little to no leadership, unfortunately, from President von der Leyen on this question, and this attitude, unfortunately, lets down everyone who associates EU membership with the guarantee of a set of fundamental rights.

The European Parliament really cannot be an accomplice to indifference. And in the absence of a swift change of course, the Parliament should be able to take the Commission to court over its continued inaction on the Conditionality Regulation. There is really no other way. It is the law and we absolutely have to apply it to defend the fundamental rights and values that the European Union is based on.

 
  
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  Diana Riba i Giner (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, en Europa se vulneran los derechos de las mujeres, del colectivo LGTBI y de los migrantes, entre muchos otros. Aquí mismo, en Europa, se ataca a la libertad de expresión, a la libertad de prensa y al derecho de reunión. E, incluso, el ejercicio de estos derechos ha costado la cárcel a ciudadanos europeos. Y el problema, señorías, va más allá de los dos Estados miembros que son sospechosos habituales.

El camino hacia la autocracia es más corto de lo que podemos pensar. Y este camino se podría acortar aún más si no actuamos de forma rápida y contundente. Estamos ante una crisis del Estado de Derecho en Europa y debemos dar respuesta.

Quiero poner de relieve la importancia de conseguir un gran consenso alrededor de esta Resolución común. Es importante que exijamos a la Comisión que actúe ante aquellos Estados que vulneran el Estado de Derecho y los valores democráticos.

Hemos creado una herramienta con este fin, un Reglamento que condiciona la llegada de los fondos europeos al respeto del Estado de Derecho. Es el momento de ponerlo en marcha.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση θεμελιώθηκε πάνω σε αρχές και αξίες και η ειδοποιός διαφορά της, για την οποία είμαστε περήφανοι, από όλα τα κράτη μέλη αλλά και από άλλους οργανισμούς, είναι ότι προασπίζεται αυτές τις αρχές και τις αξίες και εδράζεται πάνω στο κράτος δικαίου.

Είναι αδιανόητο και απαράδεκτο να υπάρχει κράτος μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης που να παραβιάζει αυτές τις αρχές και τις αξίες — είναι σαν να ακυρώνει την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Οι Ευρωπαίοι φορολογούμενοι πολίτες δεν θα δέχονταν ποτέ να πηγαίνει ούτε έναν ευρώ σε χώρες οι οποίες παραβιάζουν τις αρχές της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Οι αρχές αυτές, όμως, δεν παραβιάζονται μόνο εντός της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Εδώ έχουμε μια χώρα με προνομιακή σχέση με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, στην οποία πάνε τα ευρώ του Ευρωπαίου φορολογούμενου και η οποία αποτελεί τον ορισμό της παραβίασης των αρχών και των αξιών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, και του ευρωπαϊκού και διεθνούς δικαίου. Αυτή η χώρα είναι η Τουρκία.

Αν ερωτηθούν οι Ευρωπαίοι φορολογούμενοι, αν πρέπει να υπάρχει οποιαδήποτε χρηματοδότηση προς αυτήν τη χώρα, η απάντηση θα είναι καθολικά όχι και οφείλω, από αυτό το βήμα σήμερα, να καταδικάσω για ακόμα μία φορά την Τουρκία, η οποία με προκλητικό τρόπο προχωρά στην παραβίαση αρχών και αξιών του διεθνούς και ευρωπαϊκού δικαίου, παραβιάζει ψηφίσματα του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, όσον αφορά την Αμμόχωστο, και προχωρά στο άνοιγμα της παραλιακής ζώνης της Αμμοχώστου, παραβιάζοντας τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα χιλιάδων προσφύγων της Κύπρου αλλά και Ευρωπαίων πολιτών, των Αμμοχωστιανών, της πόλης μου, της πόλης της Αμμοχώστου. Για αυτό, πρέπει να είμαστε ξεκάθαροι προς όλες τις ... (Ο Πρόεδρος αφαιρεί τον λόγο από τον ομιλητή)

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ritengo ci siano due questioni imprescindibili in questo dibattito. La prima: un paese membro che non rispetta le regole di base di un sistema democratico, violando i diritti fondamentali e lo Stato di diritto, non deve usufruire dei fondi europei. Sarebbe un grave errore politico oltre che un danno erariale per le casse dell'Unione, perché consentirebbe indirettamente ad alcuni governi di erodere i valori comuni europei attraverso l'uso delle risorse comunitarie.

Secondo: l'Unione europea, se vuole che i principi della democrazia siano rispettati dai suoi Stati membri, non può concedere alcuna deroga all'applicabilità dei suoi stessi regolamenti, soprattutto – e c'è dell'ironia in tutto questo – se trattano proprio il rispetto dello Stato di diritto.

Dunque, il regolamento sulla condizionalità dello Stato di diritto è entrato in vigore il 1° gennaio 2021 ed è direttamente e completamente applicabile. Non accettiamo alcuna linea guida dilatoria e siamo pronti a far partire un'azione legale contro la Commissione se non adempirà ai suoi obblighi definiti dai trattati.

 
  
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  Morten Løkkegaard (Renew). – Hr. Formand, hr. Kommissær, fru minister! Det ligger jo ikke til mig at være højstemt, når jeg taler. Det synes jeg ikke hører sig til i politik, men der er enkelte lejligheder, hvor det måske er på sin plads, og det er det lige nu. Der er grund til at være lidt højstemt, når vi skal tale om det her emne. Der kan siges meget klart: EU's nye retsstatsmekanisme må aldrig blive en skrivebordsøvelse, og det er den i fare for at blive nu. Vi står med en historisk chance for at tage et opgør med de lande, som ikke lever op til reglerne, som ikke er en del af fællesskabet. Og det er Unionens fremtid, der står på spil, intet mindre. Hvis vi skal fastholde EU's legitimitet og borgernes tro på fællesskabet, er vi nødt til at tage tyren ved hornene. Derfor skal Kommissionen leve op til sin forpligtelse. Man skal begynde med at bruge retsstatsmekanismen imod de medlemslande, som bryder reglerne, ellers svigter Kommissionen sit ansvar. Og det skal altså hellere være nu end i morgen, at man tager action på det her. Jeg har ingen illusioner om, at det bliver nemt. Det bliver en kamp fra hus til hus, det ved vi godt. Men den kamp skal tages nu. Det er Unionens fremtid, der står på spil.

 
  
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  Isabel Wiseler-Lima (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, il y va de la crédibilité de l’Union européenne. Il y va de l’état de droit. Il y va de la confiance des citoyens dans l’Union européenne, et même de leur confiance en la justice.

Des gouvernements au sein de notre Union mettent en place des systèmes qui bafouent la démocratie, des systèmes judiciaires qui perdent leur indépendance, des paysages médiatiques absorbés par le pouvoir, une corruption tentaculaire qui enrichit ceux au pouvoir et leurs amis. C’est l’argent des citoyens européens qui souvent remplit leurs poches. Si j’ai honte quand je lis dans le New York Times qu’il y a dans notre Union des pays qui ne peuvent plus vraiment être qualifiés de démocratie, je sais aussi que nous nous sommes donné les moyens législatifs d’y remédier: couper les fonds européens aux pays qui vont à l’encontre de l’état de droit est un de ces moyens. À la Commission maintenant d’être transparente et de le mettre en œuvre.

J’ai confiance dans les institutions européennes, tout comme nombre de citoyens de l’Union. Le défi aujourd’hui est énorme. Le mécanisme de conditionnalité en vigueur depuis le 1er janvier doit, comme le demande le Parlement, être appliqué au plus vite.

 
  
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  Johannes Hahn, Mitglied der Kommission. – Herr Präsident! Vielen Dank für diese engagierte Debatte, die einmal mehr bestätigt hat, wie wichtig diesem Haus die Rechtsstaatlichkeit ist. Aber ehrlich gesagt, ich habe nichts Anderes erwartet. Es ist mir allerdings ein Anliegen – auch ganz persönlich, aber auch für mein Team –, zu sagen: Also, ich lasse uns nicht vorwerfen, dass wir inaktiv gewesen wären oder seien.

Ich war schon da, als wir um die Einführung des europäischen Staatsanwaltes gerungen haben – damals eine sehr starke Initiative meiner früheren Kollegin und Ihrer Kollegin Viviane Reding. Ich war jetzt zum Schluss an der Reform von OLAF beteiligt, die jahrelang verhandelt wurde. Ich habe als Regionalkommissar – glauben Sie mir! – genug gesehen, was Ärger bei mir ausgelöst hat. Und ich war beteiligt am Vorschlag der Kommission im Jahre 2018, genau diesen rule of law-Mechanismus zu schaffen.

Glauben Sie mir: Ich bin bis unter die Haarspitzen motiviert, dass wir dieses Ding umsetzen.

Aber weil ich so motiviert bin, möchte ich auch sichergestellt haben, dass die Sache von Anbeginn an funktioniert. Deswegen muss man sich klar und deutlich überlegen, in welchen Bereichen dieses neue Instrument zur Anwendung kommen kann, damit wir bei den ersten Fällen auch wirklich den entsprechenden – das sage ich ganz offen – Erfolg haben, damit sichergestellt ist: Das ist ein neues Instrument, eine wichtige Ergänzung zu den bestehenden Instrumentarien, die es schon gibt, aber eben auch ein Instrument, das scharf genug ist und das nicht zahnlos ist. Deswegen haben wir uns auch wirklich nicht nur Zeit genommen, sondern es war auch notwendig, durch die Analyse verschiedenster Informationen, Berichte, Reports etc. herauszudestillieren, wo wir glauben, dass die Ansatzpunkte sind.

Wir werden dem Parlament wie auch dem Rat nächste Woche, wie seit Wochen angekündigt, den Entwurf unserer internen guidelines übermitteln, zu denen Sie dann bitte auch Ihre Meinung sagen. Denn am Ende des Tages sind wir nur gemeinsam erfolgreich.

Apropos gemeinsam: Es gibt nur eine Art von Rechtsstaatlichkeit. Es gibt keine Rechtsstaatlichkeit, die sozusagen gesellschafts- oder länderspezifisch entwickelt und angewandt werden kann. Auch dessen sollten wir uns gemeinsam bewusst sein, wenn ich mir das eine oder andere Statement hier anhöre.

Wir werden dieses Instrument unbeschadet der einzelnen Parteien, die da und dort in einem Land in der Regierung sein mögen, zur Anwendung bringen, und wir schauen auch nicht – ehrlich gesagt –, wann und wo irgendwelche Wahlen stattfinden. Was zu tun ist, wird getan – unabhängig von Personen, von Parteien, von irgendwelchen Wahlterminen. Was zählt, ist, was uns alle eint: dass wir den Rechtsstaat in Europa sicherstellen, weiterentwickeln und im Interesse unserer Bürgerinnen und Bürger auch entsprechend schützen.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário Hahn, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, o Parlamento, a Comissão e o Conselho partilham o objetivo de garantir o bom funcionamento da nossa União. Também concordamos que isso exige o pleno respeito pelo Estado de direito conforme previsto nos Tratados. Por isso aprovámos em conjunto diferentes instrumentos preventivos e de resposta incluindo o Regulamento sobre a Condicionalidade do Estado de Direito.

Em simultâneo, sabemos que o Estado de direito é um assunto complexo e é por isso que temos o Tribunal de Justiça Europeu para nos ajudar. Compreendemos a preocupação do Parlamento em ter resultados rapidamente e sei que o Parlamento apresentou ao tribunal um pedido de aceleração do processo relativo aos pedidos de anulação do novo Regulamento de Condicionalidade do Estado de Direito.

A Presidência espera que tal possa acontecer para prosseguirmos o nosso diálogo ao nível político sobre este importante assunto com bases jurídicas sólidas. Este instrumento é de grande importância na arquitetura geral da defesa do Estado de direito e precisamos que ele seja utilizado de forma objetiva, coerente, previsível e credível.

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. – Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Η ψηφοφορία επί των τροπολογιών θα διεξαχθεί σήμερα και η τελική ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί αύριο.

Γραπτές δηλώσεις (άρθρο 171 του Κανονισμού)

 
  
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  Радан Кънев (PPE), в писмена форма. – Поради ангажименти с предстоящата предизборна кампания в България, участвам в настоящата сесия дистанционно. По тази причина се обръщам към Вас писмено, по реда на чл. 171 от Правилник за дейността на Европейския парламент, по дебата за Европейския механизъм за Върховенство на правото. Преди близо две години, при избора на Главен прокурор, Ви предупредих за задаваща се институционална криза в България. Месеци по-късно, предизвиках разгорещен дебат за вече настъпилата криза на правовата държава. Днес правителството на САЩ санкционира близки до властта български олигарси и дори действащ ръководител на Службата за контрол върху подслушванията, бивш ръководител на самата Агенция, която прилага СРС. В страната ни се разгаря скандал за незаконно подслушване на политици, екипи на Прокуратурата нахлуват в МВР, а екипи на ДАНС - в Прокуратурата… Гражданите се питат защо партньорите ни отвъд океана могат да реагират, а ЕС, в който сме пълноправен член - не. Очакваме незабавни действия за активиране на Механизма за върховенство на правото и активни действия на Европейската прокуратура, които да пресекат институционалния конфликт и да подпомогнат възстановяването на правовата държава. Продължаващо бездействие на ЕС, на фона на остра политическа криза, може - по думите на един от лидерите на довчерашните управляващи - да доведе до смяна на един корупционен модел с друг.

 
  
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  Łukasz Kohut (S&D), na piśmie. – Praworządność to gwarancja wolności obywateli. Nie bronimy dziś więc w Parlamencie jakiejś teoretycznej koncepcji. Bronimy wolności i praw konkretnych ludzi. Śląsk to rozumie. Jak żyjesz w familoku razem z innymi, to trzeba przestrzegać zasad. I w kontaktach z sąsiadami, i ze swoją rodziną. Jak ktoś przemocowy, to sąsiedzi będą jej bronić. Pamiętajmy, że mechanizm rozporządzenia 2020/2092 o warunkowości oznacza zawieszenie środków, nie – odebranie. Zawieszenie do momentu usunięcia łamania prawa.

Pamiętajmy też, że w czasie zawieszenia wypłaty środków beneficjenci końcowi i tak je dostaną, bo zawieszenie nie wpływa na obowiązek wypłat przez jednostki rządowe. Można zrozumieć, że Komisja nie chce być wciągana w kolejne awantury, które Orbán i Morawiecki tak chętnie wywołują. Ale zmęczenie łamaniem praworządności przez ich rządy nie zwalnia z obowiązku przestrzegania prawa UE. Nasza rezolucja ma Komisji o tym skutecznie przypomnieć. Środki unijne są dla ludzi, nie dla rządów. Rządy są jedynie pośrednikami. A jak pośrednik zaczyna oszukiwać, to trzeba go zdyscyplinować. Każdy dzień bez warunku praworządności to o jeden dzień za dużo. Dla demokracji i dla tych, którzy o nią ogromnym kosztem walczą, aktywistów, obrońców praw człowieka. To kolejny dzień przyzwolenia na umieranie demokracji. Nie możemy być ślepi. Nie chcemy być mądrzy po fakcie.

 
  
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  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (Renew), in writing. – In the face of concerning accounts of rule of law backsliding as our Union’s common founding principle, an agreement was reached already half a year ago to put in place a Rule of law conditionality mechanism, applicable for the EU budget 2021-2027, and the Next Generation instruments. Establishing a link between upholding the Rule of Law and EU funding has been, and continues to be a priority for Renew Europe, as we believe that the breaches in our shared values and fundamental rights must be prevented and addressed effectively, as they impact our core unity. I would therefore like to echo my colleagues in reminding that the Conditionality regulation entered into force in the beginning of this year and its application is not subject to the adoption of guidelines or further actions. Six months later, it is high time for us to be honest in looking into the existing issues, taking brave actions and making a robust use of the existing instruments in order to make sure that our rights and values are reflected in every action of the European Union.

 
  
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  Ramona Strugariu (Renew), in writing. – For years we have been hiding behind good excuses in order to justify the insufficient action of the EU decision-makers regarding blatant violations of the rule of law in some Member States. Either we did not have the right tools (i.e. a functioning rule of law mechanism), the Article 7 procedure was notoriously difficult to use because of the veto in the Council, or it was not the right time to trigger infringement procedures. The European Parliament has been advocating for a long time that the most effective way to deal with oligarchs throughout Europe who disregard the Union’s values is to link funding to respect for the rule of law. Now we do have this powerful instrument, which is Regulation 2020/2092, and yet we are reluctant to use it. Through our resolution, we simply say to the European Commission: no more good excuses! The fact that the guidelines for the application of Regulation 2020/2092 are not yet ready does not absolve the Commission from its obligation to act. Our resolution is a clear signal that the Parliament will not hesitate to take the Commission to Court if the text is not applied within two weeks.

 
Seneste opdatering: 20. september 2021Juridisk meddelelse - Databeskyttelsespolitik