End of EU: Brussels own report warns of dangers that could destroy union

Hungary Foreign Minister says EU is ‘slow’

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

In its annual rule of law report, the European Commission will say there are increasing threats to judicial independence and in the fight against official corruption in Hungary and Poland. But similar warnings are expected to also be extended to more mainstream member states – including Germany and France – because of challenges to the primacy of EU law. The study by the Commission, set to be published later today, highlights “serious concerns” over judicial independence in both Budapest and Warsaw.

It will heavily criticise Hungary for failing to address high-level corruption, such as clientelism and favouritism, at the top of government.

The report will cover developments in all 27 EU nations, but is expected to focus on the two controversial rule-breakers the most.

The chapters on Hungary and Poland are particularly sensitive, with both countries still vying to secure approval for their multibillion-euro shares of the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund.

“Risks of clientism, favouritism and nepotism in high-level public administration as well as risks arising from the link between businesses and political actors remain unaddressed,” the Hungarian section will say.

“Independent control mechanisms remain insufficient for detecting corruption.

“Concerns remain regarding the lack of systematic checks and insufficient oversight of asset and interest declarations.

“While the indictment rate for corruption cases is high, and some new high-level corruption cases were opened since 2020, the track record for investigations of allegations concerning high-level officials and their immediate circle remains limited.”

And of Poland, the report warns of the risk of “undue influence” on corruption prosecutions.

It also raises concerns over the fact that the minister of justice is also the country’s prosecutor-general.

Austria and Bulgaria are cited as potential corruption worries, while the Czech Republic is said to have issues with high-level conflict of interests.

The report will be unveiled later today by EU commissioners Didier Reynders and Vera Jourova.

Mr Reynders, the EU’s justice boss, has already warned that challenges to the primacy of EU law, such as those in Poland, could “destroy the union itself” if left unchallenged.

MUST READ: Brexit LIVE: UK poised to finally shake off EU with new legislation

The Commission is under pressure from MEPs to toughen up in the right against breaches of the EU’s rule of law.

Hardline politicians in the European Parliament have called for Brussels to stop payments to member states that consistently flout the EU’s rules and values.

Both Hungary and Poland have still yet to be given final sign-off for their pandemic recovery spending plans.

Both capitals have submitted their proposals and remain in dialogue with Brussels in the hope of securing the support of the Commission.

BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg risks sparking panic with Cummings interview [ANALYSIS]
Brits slam Remainer hysteria over Spainard’s post-Brexit residency [REACTION]
Emmanuel Macron at war with EU over ECJ decision on French military [REVEALED]

EU: Expert on fears of Poland being 'marginalised'

Warsaw has asked for nearly £21billion, while Hungary has bid for £6billion, of the bloc’s £691billion recovery fund.

Poland has been given an extra month to win approval for its plan, which critics of Warsaw’s nationalist government say should be rejected.

The Commission report will claim there is a steady deterioration in the perception of the country’s justice system over the past five years.

It will warn that “multiple aspects of justice reform raise serious concerns as regards the rule of law, in particular judicial independence”.

Source: Read Full Article