Business EU executive probes whether Poland, Hungary should get EU money

EU executive probes whether Poland, Hungary should get EU money

EU executive probes whether Poland, Hungary should get EU money

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: EU flags flutter in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photograph


By Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has began a protracted-awaited probe into whether or now not Poland and Hungary must proceed to receive billions of euros from the EU funds thanks to issues with corruption and the guideline of legislation.

Commission paperwork on Saturday showed letters were sent to Warsaw and Budapest on Friday asking governments for clarifications below a fresh EU legislation allowing the suspension of EU cash if it must be misspent.

The legislation used to be adopted final December nonetheless the Commission, the guardian of EU regulations, has been behind to utilize it, despite stress from the European Parliament which even sued the Commission final month for inaction.

Below a irregular appropriate kind route of, the Commission has already suspended billions in grants to Poland and Hungary from the EU’s recovery fund, citing the a similar concerns over the guideline of legislation and corruption.

The letters sent on Friday are appropriate the 1st step in a prolonged route of, nonetheless can also merely put apart at likelihood tens of billions of euros in EU cash to the worldwide locations over the next seven years.

Both worldwide locations own two months to answer the letters.

If the Commission were to enact EU cash used to be now not safe in Poland and Hungary, it could per chance well quiet want a ruling from the EU’s top court before it could per chance pick motion.

Both worldwide locations challenged the legislation in March and whereas a non-binding device from the EU court’s advocate total is predicted in early December, a elephantine ruling can also merely now not draw till the first quarter of 2022.

Poland and Hungary own for years been below formal EU investigation for undermining the independence of the courts, non-governmental organisations and the media.


Warsaw’s family members with the EU own worsened after Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, dominated by the ruling nationalist and euro-sceptic celebration, ruled in October that parts of EU legislation were incompatible with the Polish constitution.

The Polish tribunal additionally mentioned in July that Poland failed to want to have a study period in-between measures imposed by the EU’s top court in matters of Polish judiciary.

“These two judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal could give rise to breaches of the guidelines of the guideline of legislation … insofar as the superb software of Union legislation in Poland is anxious, and thereby put apart at likelihood the software of Union main legislation and secondary legislation related to the protection of the financial interests of the European Union,” the Commission letter to Poland, considered by Reuters, mentioned.

The letter additionally lists concerns about the impartiality of Poland’s prosecutors, since the carrier is flee by an energetic baby-kisser from the ruling celebration, who’s justice minister and prosecutor total on the a similar time.

One other discipline listed is the independence of judges appointed by a council dominated by nominees of the ruling celebration as neatly as a peculiar disciplinary machine for judges which breaks EU treaties, in accordance with ruling by the EU top court.

Such issues “could impression the effectiveness and impartiality of the judicial court cases on cases related to the irregularities in the management of the Union funds,” the letter to Poland mentioned.

The letter to Hungary, whereas citing concerns over the independence of judges, centered totally on irregularities in spending EU cash by public procurement.

The concerns be aware reports from the EU’s anti-fraud situation of business OLAF showing relating to half of all public tenders in Hungary consequence in a single-inform route of.

Throughout a decade in power, Hungarian High Minister Viktor Orban has been accused of the usage of billions of euros of notify and EU funds to prop up a valid commerce elite which involves family members and shut chums.

In a file on the guideline of legislation in Hungary in July, the Commission cited chronic shortcomings in Hungarian political celebration financing and dangers of clientelism and nepotism in high-stage public administration.

“The recognized deficiencies and weaknesses can also merely… fresh a serious likelihood that the sound financial management of the Union funds or the protection of the Union financial interests will proceed to be affected in the damage,” the letter to Hungary mentioned.

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