Published: Thu, 17 February 2022
MEP for Ireland South and Fine Gael’s leader in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has welcomed a ruling by the European Court of Justice upholding the importance of the rule of law in the EU. The Court dismissed requests brought by Hungary and Poland to annul the Conditionality mechanism, which links access to European funds to respect for the rule of law.
“The rule of law is a non-negotiable aspect of EU membership. Any breach of the rule of law by an EU member state poses a risk to citizens’ rights and democracy across the Union”, said Kelly.
“The European Parliament has strongly supported the implementation of this mechanism for some time now, and today’s ruling reaffirms that position. Respect for the rule of law and democratic values is a fundamental aspect of EU membership, and any country which does not uphold these essential values should expect to be held to account.”
“The rule of law and respect for democracy goes hand in hand with a respect for citizens’ rights. Recent democratic backsliding in both Hungary and Poland is a concerning trend, which threatens the rights of EU citizens in those countries”, he added.
The Ireland South MEP urged the European Commission to take swift action to apply the Conditionality mechanism. “It is essential that the Commission ensures that upholding the Europe’s fundamental values goes hand-in-hand with spending European money”, Kelly concluded.