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EU parliament issues 14-day ultimatum to Commission to enforce key rule-of-law regulation

Moscow: The European Parliament on Thursday issued a two weeks ultimatum to the Commission to apply conditionality regulation designed to protect EU funds against potential misuse by EU governments or be sued, the legislature said in a release.

“MEPs instruct EP President Sassoli to call on the Commission, within two weeks at the latest, to ‘fulfill its obligations’ under the Rule of Law Conditionality Regulation.” The EU said in a release.

Under this regulation which has been in force since January 1, 2021, the Commission, after establishing that there has been a breach, is expected to propose a conditionality mechanism that would be triggered against a given EU government and subsequently either cut or freeze payments to that member state from the EU budget.

EU lawmakers adopted the resolution imposing the ultimatum against the EU’s executive branch with 506 votes in favor, 150 against, and 28 abstentions, the release said.

Although the Parliament set June 1 as the deadline for the Commission to apply this regulation, however, the European Council “requested the Commission to delay their application so member states could challenge it in the EU Court of Justice (Poland and Hungary did so on March 11, 2021), and until the Commission had developed specific application guidelines.”

In response to this, the lawmakers conclude that the delay “constitutes a sufficient basis for taking legal actions under Article 265 of the TFEU [Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union] against the Commission.”

Brussels has been grappling with Poland and Hungary, who have shown increasing discord with much of the rest of the bloc over diverging priorities, particularly in such matters as immigration and abortion.

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