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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

EU rule-of-law report raises ‘serious concerns’: Polish, Hungarian ministers

01.10.2020 13:45
A new report by the EU’s executive on the rule of law in the bloc’s 27 member states which is critical of Warsaw and Budapest raises “serious concerns,” the Polish and Hungarian justice ministers said on Thursday.
European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova during a press conference on the 2020 Annual Rule of Law Report in Brussels, Belgium, 30 September 2020.
European Commissioner for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova during a press conference on the 2020 Annual Rule of Law Report in Brussels, Belgium, 30 September 2020.Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET / POOL

The European Commission report, the bloc’s first such wide-ranging account, “raises serious concerns as to its concept, methodology, sources and content,” the two justice ministers said.

They added that the EU report “cannot be used as a basis for further discussions on the rule of law in the European Union.”

"The scope of the report is arbitrary and there are no references to objectively selected benchmarks that could be applied equally to all member states," the two justice ministers said.

According to the European Commission report published on Wednesday, democratic standards are facing “important challenges” in Hungary and Poland.

“Poland’s justice reforms since 2015 have been a major source of controversy,” the EU report added.

Also on Wednesday, a majority of the bloc’s 27 states approved a proposal by Germany on how to make EU handouts conditional on adhering to the rule of law, the Reuters news agency reported.

Since coming to power in 2015, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has introduced a series of judicial reforms which critics and EU officials say may breach the rule of law. PiS denies the allegations.

Warsaw has clashed repeatedly with Brussels over sweeping changes to courts in Poland, which is a major recipient of European Union funds.

(jh/pk)

Source: PAP, Reuters