THE VENTOTENE LIGHTHOUSE
A Federalist Journal for World Citizenship
European Democracy is not for sale: A call to Action!
November 12, 2020
by TVL

The European Union is at a crucial turning point.

The concrete implementation of the Recovery Plan, presented by the European Commission to save and relaunch a sustainable European economy, is bringing out conflicts on a decisive point. Should European financial resources allocated to national governments be linked to respect for the rule of law or not?

Some governments, such as those of Poland and Hungary, oppose this conditionality.

Important political values are at stake.

A trilogue has developed under the European Union procedure between the Parliament, the Commission and the Presidency of the European Council.  An interim agreement was reached on 5 November.

For the outcome of trilogue on the Rule of law conditionality pls. see

https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/it/outcome-of-rule-of-law-conditionality-trilogues_20201105-1130-SPECIAL-PRESSER_vd

On October 20. in the European Parliament, 100 members from 18 EU countries had launched a high-profile Appeal with concrete proposals.

Below you can find the full text of the call with the list of signatories.

The Appeal

The European Union has insufficient resources to effectively combat misuse of EU funds and violations of the rule of law in the member states. The situation in countries like Hungary and Poland clearly shows that the EU must finally act. The EU Commission and the European Parliament have put forward good proposals for a rule of law mechanism. At the EU summit in July, the member states greatly weakened this mechanism, and the German government was finally gutted for the search for compromise between the EU Council, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament. A qualified majority is required for sanctions, the criteria were limited to serious corruption, all others were deleted. In addition, the Council, i.e. unanimity, should deal with sanctions. 

For the next round of the trialogue procedure today we have launched this appeal, which over 100 parliamentarians from 19 countries have signed.

The European Union is founded on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights. This is enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU.

The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union is currently facing a tremendous challenge: It must find a compromise on the next EU budget and the Next Generation EU recovery plan. Both dossiers would have a real added value for European citizens, since they will help to overcome the economic consequences of the Corona crisis and hopefully kick-start Europe’s transformation into an ecological and social market economy.

At the same time, negotiations are led to protect the European Budget and our financial interests against breaches of the Rule of Law.

We strongly regret the fact that the European Council significantly weakened the efforts of the Commission and Parliament to uphold the rule of law framework for the MFF and the Next Generation EU Fund. We therefore call on the German Presidency and all Member State governments to stand up for an EU conditionality on the rule of law that deserves this name and to agree to

  • A clear and decisive process for determining adherence to the rule of law. This should take the form of a delegated decision by the Commission that can only be reversed by a qualified majority vote in the Council.     
  • A scope that includes violations of the principles of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, at a bare minimum.
  • Take out the option of Member countries being able to postpone an agreement to a future Council meeting.
  • A system that allows European citizens, local authorities and companies to access EU funds directly, should their government’s behavior prevent them from receiving them through regular channels. No European citizen should be punished for their government’s failure to respect and uphold the founding principles of our Union.

This call to action is highly urgent. What we are facing is an unprecedented and escalating crisis of our shared values, which threatens the very survival of the EU as a project of democracy and peace. The rule of law is no matter of East versus West, no matter of frugals versus friends of cohesion. European democracy is a matter concerning all European citizens – let’s protect our shared values!

Dr. Franziska Brantner, European policy spokesperson of the Green Party in the Bundestag

Daniel Freund, negotiator in the Committee on Budgetary Control for the Green Group in the European

List of all signatories

Auken, Margrete MEP Denmark Socialistisk Folkeparti
Nienass, Niklas MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Peter-Hansen, Kira MEP Denmark Socialistisk Folkeparti
Strik, Tineke MEP Netherlands GroenLinks
Guerreiro, Francisco MEP Portugal Independent
Ujhelyi, István MEP Hungary Magyar Szocialista Párt
Nart, Javier MEP Spain Independent
Vana, Monika MEP Austria Die Grünen
Köster, Dietmar MEP Germany SPD
Gozi, Sandro MEP France Liste Renaissance
Profant, Ondřej MP Czech Republic Piráti
Navrkal, František MP Czech Republic Piráti
Martínek, Tomáš MP Czech Republic Piráti
Lipavský, Jan MP Czech Republic Piráti
Kopřiva, František MP Czech Republic Piráti
Biteau, Benoit MEP France Europe Écologie
Urtasun, Ernest MEP Spain Catalunya en Comú
Spurek, Sylwia MEP Poland Independant
Puigdemont, Carles MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Comín, Antoni MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Ponsatí, Clara MEP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Bricmont, Saskia MEP Belgium Ecologistes Confédérés
Von Cramon-Taubadel MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Furore, Mario MEP Italy Movimento 5 Stelle
Schieder, Andreas MEP Austria SPÖ
Heide, Hannes MEP Austria SPÖ
Vollath, Bettina MEP Austria SPÖ
Hautala, Heidi MEP Finland Vihreä liitto
Piri, Kati MEP Netherlands Partij van de Arbeid
Wagenknecht, Lukas MP Czech Republic Piráti
Kaljurand, Marina MEP Estonia Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond
Anisko, Tomasz MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Urszula, Zielinska MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Malgorzata, Tracz MP Poland Partii Zieloni
Toussaint, Marie MEP France Europe Écologie
Cormand, David MEP France Europe Écologie
Rivasi, Michèle MEP France Europe Écologie
Delbos-Corfield, Gwendoline MEP France Europe Écologie
Sartouri, Mounir MEP France Europe Écologie
Jadot, Yannick MEP France Europe Écologie
Yenbou, Salima MEP France Europe Écologie
Roose, Caroline MEP France Europe Écologie
Gruffat, Claude MEP France Europe Écologie
Careme, Damien MEP France Europe Écologie
Alfonsi, Francois MEP France Europe Écologie
Dobrev, Klara MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Molnár, Csaba MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Ara-Kovács, Attila MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Rónai, Sándor MEP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Gyurcsány, Ferenc MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Vadai, Ágnes MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Arató, Gergely MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Hajdu, Lászlo MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Oláh, Lajos MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Sebián-Petrovszki, László MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Varju, László MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Bösz, Anett MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Varga, Zóltán MP Hungary Demokratikus Koalíció
Sidl, Günther MEP Austria SPÖ
Orel, Petr MP Czech Republic Sz
Goláň, Tomáš MP Czech Republic BEZPP
Tracz, Malgorzata MP Poland Partia Zieloni
Anisko, Tomasz MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Jachira, Klaudia MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Sterczewski, Franciszek MP Poland Koalicja Obywatelska
Ernst-Dziedzic, Ewa MP Austria Die Grünen
Borràs, Laura MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Nogueras, Míriam MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Cuevillas, Jaume Alonso MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Illamola, Mariona MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Matamala, Jami MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Cleries, Josep Lluís MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Castellví, Assumpció MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Rivero, Maite MP Spain Junts per Catalunya – Lliures per Europa
Gonzalez, Monica Silvana MEP Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
Delli, Karima MEP France EELV
Mounir, Satouri MEP France EELV
Benarroche, Guy MP France EELV
Dantec, Ronan MP France ESNT
Benbassa, Esther MP France EELV
Dossus, Thomas MP France EELV
Fernique, Jacques MP France EELV
Kairidis, Dimitris MP Greece New Democracy
Barna, Dan MP Romania USR*
Drula, Catalin MP Romania USR*
Mihail, Radu MP Romania USR*
De Marco, Monique MP Fance EELV
Tērauda, Vita Anda MP Latvia Attistibai/Par!
Fusacchia, Alessandro MP Italy Gruppo Misto
Giannakopoulou, Nantia MP Greece PASOK
Barrena, Pernando MEP Spain EH BILDU
Aguilar, Juan MEP Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
Clement, Sven MP Luxembourg Piraten
Gregorová, Markéta MEP Czech Republic Piráti
Freund, Daniel MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Brantner, Franziska MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Brugger, Agnieszka MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Hofreiter, Anton MP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Kyuchyuk, Ilhan MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Mihaylova, Iskra MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Alieva-Veli, Atidzhe MEP Bulgaria Movement for Rights and Freedoms
Muroni, Rossella MP Italy Liberi e Uguali
Palazzotto, Erasmo MP Italy Liberi e Uguali
Magi, Riccardo MP Italy Plus Europa
Lagodinsky, Sergey MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Geese, Alexandra MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Giegold, Sven MEP Germany Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
Strugariu, Ramona MEP Romania USR Plus
Klaver, Jesse MP Netherlands GroenLinks

* on behalf of the USR group in the Romanian Parliament