April 13, 2024

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EU’s New Weapon in Rule-of-Law Battle With Poland, Hungary: Money

BRUSSELS—The European Union has started withholding cash from Poland and Hungary, escalating the battle in excess of democratic benchmarks that is deepening the East-West divide in the bloc.

The EU and most governments in its Western area are involved about lawful modifications by Poland and Hungary that they consider are eroding the rule of regulation, weakening judicial independence, and breaching human rights. They are notably alarmed by an exertion by Warsaw to assert the primacy of Polish regulation in excess of EU regulation and court decisions.

The two nations, which are amid the largest web recipients of European money, say the strain from Brussels represents an ideological attack on their values and an try by unelected officers to curtail the rights of member countries to shape their have political units and guidelines.

The EU has had disputes for years with Poland and Hungary in excess of problems these kinds of as homosexual rights, which are sizzling-button topics in many former communist countries. Conservative voters and politicians in the area have argued that because becoming a member of the bloc in 2004, Brussels has increasingly employed its powers to impose Western European social values in excess of neighborhood norms.

The European Commission’s combat with Poland in excess of judicial independence is separate from these disputes. Brussels officers argue that Poland’s endeavours to disregard EU court decisions and obstacle legislation could set precedents that undermine bloc-vast rules—such as those governing the one market—and defang the supranational courts that law enforcement EU regulation.