Activate the rule of law conditionality mechanism, MEPs are set to say 

To protect the EU’s budget, MEPs are expected to call on the Commission to use the new mechanism against breaches of the rule of law, without delay.

On Thursday, MEPs will ask the Commission why it has not yet used the mechanism to protect the EU budget from generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law since its entry into force on 1 January. Following up on their December 2020 resolution, they are expected to reiterate that the provisions on the mechanism are legally binding, in contrast to the European Council’s conclusions on the matter, which carry no legal effect.

According to the rules approved in December 2020, the Commission, after establishing that there has been a breach, will propose that the conditionality mechanism should be triggered against an EU government, and subsequently either cut or freeze payments to that member state from the EU budget. The Council will then have one month to vote on the proposed measures (or three months in exceptional cases), by a qualified majority.

Commission statement followed by debate

Procedure Code: 2018/0136(COD) (mechanism) & 2020/2858(RSP) (resolution)

Debate: Thursday, 11 March