Parliament prepares legal proceedings against Commission over rule of law mechanism 

Statement by the President of the European Parliament

President David Sassoli today asked the legal services of the European Parliament to prepare a lawsuit against the European Commission for its failure to apply the Conditionality Regulation. The regulation, which was adopted last December, allows the EU to suspend payments from the EU budget to Member States in which the rule of law is under threat.

The letter from the President to the legal services of the Parliament comes after a vote in the Parliament’s legal affairs committee that recommended bringing proceedings before the Court of Justice. A majority of political group leaders in today’s Conference of Presidents supported this action.

The letter makes clear that Parliament will withdraw this legal proceeding if the Commission takes the necessary measures.

Speaking after the meeting of political group leaders in the Parliament, President Sassoli said:

“EU Member States that violate the rule of law should not receive EU funds. Last year, Parliament fought hard for a mechanism to ensure this. However, so far the European Commission has been reluctant to use it.

“The European Union is a community built on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. If these are under threat in a Member State, the EU must act to protect them. I have therefore asked our legal services to prepare a lawsuit against the Commission to ensure that EU rules are properly enforced."

The letter of the President to the Parliament’s legal service is available here