Resolution on ongoing hearings under Article 7(1) of the TEU regarding Poland and Hungary

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Series Details 2020/2513(RSP)
Publication Date 2020
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Resolution brought forward and later adopted by the European Parliament on the work conducted by the Council of the European Union to address concerns over threats to rule of law in Hungary and Poland.

Further information.

The European Parliament demanded in separate occasions that the Council of the European Union acted as a result of decisions in Hungary and Poland that could be seen as in breach of the European Union's founding values on rule of law and judicial independence. According to Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), following these requests, the Council may determine that there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values in the concerned countries. This could eventually lead to sanctions against those Member States.

The Council held three hearings with the Polish government in 2018 and two hearings with the Hungarian government in 2019.

The Resolution - which was adopted by the European Parliament's plenary session on 16 January 2020 - argues that the hearings organised by the Council under article 7(1) of the TEU are neither regular nor structured. It calls on the Council to address concrete recommendations to the countries concerned, including deadlines, to ensure EU law is respected. The text also urges the European Commission to use all tools at its disposal to prevent a serious breach of common values, such as expedited infringement procedures and applications for interim measures before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

MEPs complained that theywere not allowed to participate in the hearings, particularly when it was Parliament that initiated the Article 7 proceedings. They insist that the Parliament should be given the opportunity to formally present its reasoned proposal to the Council. Finally, the Resolution highlights the need for an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

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Related Links
Bloomberg, 16/01/2020: Abandoned by Allies, EU Censure Pushes Orban Toward EPP Exit
EurActiv, 16/01/2020: European Parliament calls on member states to act on Poland and Hungary
EUObserver, 16/01/2020: MEPs call on EU states to act on Hungary and Poland
Hungary Today, 16/01/2020: EP Resolution: Rule of Law ;Has Deteriorated' in Hungary and Poland
Deutsche Welle, 16/01/2020: Poland's planned judiciary reforms would 'undermine' rule of law
Politico, 16/01/2020: Center-right MEPs turn against Hungary’s Fidesz

European Parliament: Press Release, 16/01/2020: Rule of law in Poland and Hungary has worsened

ESO Records
EPRS Briefing: Rule of law [What Think Tanks are thinking]

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