“Pardon me, Comrade, this is the verdict!” – European Parliament JURI Committee threatens the European Commission with legal action

2021. 10. 14.

This afternoon, the EP’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) discussed behind closed doors, in a confidential procedure, a left-wing motion to sue the European Commission for not having applied the rule of law conditionality regulation to Hungary and Poland. However, in defiance of strict confidentiality rules — apparently to the greater glory of legality — this morning the chairman of the JURI committee, the Liberal Adrián Vázquez Lázara, and the rapporteur on the proposal, the Green Party’s Sergey Lagodinsky, published an opinion piece on in which they announced the outcome of this afternoon’s session in advance.

Following a decision by the left-wing majority in the European Parliament, EP President Sassoli had earlier called on European Commission President von der Leyen to launch proceedings against Hungary and Poland that could result in the withdrawal of EU funds from the two countries. Following the Commission President’s rejection of this unlawful and unfounded demand, the Committee on Legal Affairs prepared a recommendation to the EP’s Socialist President at his request, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, as to whether the EP should refer the matter to the European Court of Justice. After hearing the positions of the Legal Service and the rapporteur, the decision is taken by secret ballot by the MEPs eligible to vote.

Under the relevant legal provisions, these procedures are conducted without publicity and the rapporteur’s position will be known only to members of the JURI. However, the Russian-born German Green Party MEP Lagodinsky, who considers himself to be the Green Party’s man in charge of the rule of law in Brussels, has published his position in a Twitter message today and, in an article co-written with the JURI President, has announced a ‘verdict’ in advance.

“So far, the Commission has refused to apply this conditionality mechanism. But the European Parliament, as the most passionate supporter of the conditionality principle, will not ignore its own responsibility. If the Commission is not willing to act, we stand ready to take it to the Court of Justice for its failure”, says the JURI President and the left-wing rapporteur in their article. The piece therefore anticipates that the EP’s attempt to sue the Commission in order to force it to take action against Hungary and Poland will be supported by the majority of MEP’s in today’s session.

It seems that the European left can do anything it likes; it is not subject to the regulations. It is absurd that the EP wants to enforce the system of what is said to be the rule of law, but which in fact functions as an instrument of blackmail and coercion, and the chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs joins this political action. The Fidesz delegation calls on the European Parliament, which is constantly concerned about the rule of law, to abide by the rules it has created and to hold MEPs accountable without delay for their confidentiality obligations.