Correspondent in Brussels
Today the European Commission will approve a report on respect for the rule of law in member countries, in which it warns about the increasingly serious threats against independence of the judicial system in Hungary and Poland, two countries to which the community executive has frozen for now the approval of their recovery plans.
From what is known about this report, the Commission notes that it has “serious concerns” about the judicial independence in both Poland and Hungary, and harshly criticizes the Government of the latter country for not addressing corruption issues such as patronage and favoritism at the highest levels of power.
Although the report refers to the situation in 27 countries Members, the chapters on Poland and Hungary are particularly sensitive, because the two countries are awaiting the approval of the relief funds against the effects of the pandemic and mechanisms have been established to link its delivery to the respect of the essential principles of the EU. The European Parliament calls on the Commission to toughen its criticism of breaches of the rule of law, including the possible withholding of structural fund payments.
Both Poland and Hungary presented their recovery plans to the commission more than two months ago, but their capitals remain in dialogue with Brussels while awaiting approval. Poland expects almost 24 billion euros and Hungary wants to access more than 7,000 million.
The two capitals already deserved the start of an infringement procedure last week because of their respective laws on a subject as sensitive as the rights of women. LGBT people. Didier Reynders, the commissioner for justice, warned that challenges to the primacy of EU law, such as the one also pronounced by the Polish Constitutional Court could “destroy the union itself” if not addressed.