Rule of law conditionality: rapporteurs’ statement after the first trialogue 

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Constructive first round of talks, however Council's and Parliament's positions remain far apart from each other, with Parliament insisting on mechanism that can be applicable in practice.

After conclusion of the first round of informal legislative negotiations with the Council, EP co-rapporteurs on the rule of law conditionality mechanism Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI) and Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, ES) said on Monday:

“We have approached the issues up for the negotiation today from our respective standing points in good spirit and already found convergence in some topics, but the Council and Parliament positions are still far apart from each other. European citizens and taxpayers deserve a properly functioning Rule of Law mechanism that can be applicable in practice.”


The next rounds of negotiations are expected to happen later this month.

Background

The European Parliament has been ready to negotiate since January 2019 and it's main demands are unchanged: an applicable mechanism, proper protection of the final beneficiaries, inclusion of the EP in the decisions to trigger the mechanism, as well as inclusion of a panel of independent experts to assist the Commission- read more on the EP position.

In a plenary debate preceding the trilogue many MEPs criticised the Council’s position, saying it did not create an instrument that could ever be triggered in practice, by referring the voting system in Council that would allow to suspend or reduce EU budget payment to a country that disrespects the rule of law. MEPs stressed that with continued violations of rule of law and corruption in some EU countries, the EU owed it to its citizens and taxpayers to effectively protect the EU budget. Read more of the debate