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Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval

Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval
In a significant geopolitical development, Sweden has gained approval to become the 32nd member of the NATO military alliance, marking a blow...
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Munich Security Conference: Netherlands and US reaffirm support for Ukraine

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  During a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Munich Security Conference, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte...
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Dutch NATO contribution could double without U.S., says Defense Minister

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Outgoing Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren warned that the Netherlands might need to double its defense spending if the United States were to...
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European defense: exploring the idea of a 'nuclear umbrella' amid rising tensions

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Amidst concerns over the reliability of US support, a German minister has proposed a bold plan for European defense: establishing a 'nuclear...
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Students engage in Amnesty International campaign to advocate for human rights

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  Amnesty International is hosting its 33rd edition of "Schrijf-ze-VRIJdag" (Write-Them-Free/Fri-Day) on Friday, involving over 160,000...
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EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine

EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine
European Council President Charles Michel announced that all 27 European leaders have reached an agreement on a €50 billion ($55 billion;...
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EU leaders convene to address Ukrainian aid stalemate amid Hungarian opposition

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On Wednesday evening, European Union leaders will come together in Brussels for an informal dinner to tackle the ongoing deadlock regarding...
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EU Parliament braces for rightward shift as populist parties surge

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The European Parliament appears poised for a rightward shift, as an analysis commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations indicates...
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Poll reveals 25% of young voters in Flanders favor Vlaams Belang in upcoming elections

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  As the June elections for the Flemish Parliament approach, a recent poll commissioned by Hogeschool PXL and TV Limburg indicates that...
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Dutch Parliament backs motion incorporating Antisemitism in residency permit evaluations

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MPs have approved a proposal by the fundamentalist Protestant SGP, urging the government to consider anti-Semitism as a factor when deciding...
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Latest News

Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval

Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval Sweden officially joins NATO as Hungary grants approval
In a significant geopolitical development, Sweden has gained approval to become the 32nd member of the NATO military alliance, marking a blow...
Read More...

Munich Security Conference: Netherlands and US reaffirm support for Ukraine

Munich Security Conference: Netherlands and US reaffirm support for Ukraine Munich Security Conference: Netherlands and US reaffirm support for Ukraine
  During a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the Munich Security Conference, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte...
Read More...

Dutch NATO contribution could double without U.S., says Defense Minister

Dutch NATO contribution could double without U.S., says Defense Minister Dutch NATO contribution could double without U.S., says Defense Minister
Outgoing Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren warned that the Netherlands might need to double its defense spending if the United States were to...
Read More...

European defense: exploring the idea of a 'nuclear umbrella' amid rising tensions

European defense: exploring the idea of a 'nuclear umbrella' amid rising tensions European defense: exploring the idea of a 'nuclear umbrella' amid rising tensions

Amidst concerns over the reliability of US support, a German minister has proposed a bold plan for European defense: establishing a 'nuclear...
Read More...

Students engage in Amnesty International campaign to advocate for human rights

Students engage in Amnesty International campaign to advocate for human rights Students engage in Amnesty International campaign to advocate for human rights
  Amnesty International is hosting its 33rd edition of "Schrijf-ze-VRIJdag" (Write-Them-Free/Fri-Day) on Friday, involving over 160,000...
Read More...

EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine

EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine EU leaders approve €50 billion support package for Ukraine
European Council President Charles Michel announced that all 27 European leaders have reached an agreement on a €50 billion ($55 billion;...
Read More...

EU leaders convene to address Ukrainian aid stalemate amid Hungarian opposition

EU leaders convene to address Ukrainian aid stalemate amid Hungarian opposition EU leaders convene to address Ukrainian aid stalemate amid Hungarian opposition
On Wednesday evening, European Union leaders will come together in Brussels for an informal dinner to tackle the ongoing deadlock regarding...
Read More...

EU Parliament braces for rightward shift as populist parties surge

EU Parliament braces for rightward shift as populist parties surge EU Parliament braces for rightward shift as populist parties surge
The European Parliament appears poised for a rightward shift, as an analysis commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations indicates...
Read More...

Poll reveals 25% of young voters in Flanders favor Vlaams Belang in upcoming elections

Poll reveals 25% of young voters in Flanders favor Vlaams Belang in upcoming elections Poll reveals 25% of young voters in Flanders favor Vlaams Belang in upcoming elections
  As the June elections for the Flemish Parliament approach, a recent poll commissioned by Hogeschool PXL and TV Limburg indicates that...
Read More...

Dutch Parliament backs motion incorporating Antisemitism in residency permit evaluations

Dutch Parliament backs motion incorporating Antisemitism in residency permit evaluations Dutch Parliament backs motion incorporating Antisemitism in residency permit evaluations
MPs have approved a proposal by the fundamentalist Protestant SGP, urging the government to consider anti-Semitism as a factor when deciding...
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MEPs worry that the Commission’s milestones are not enough and stress that full compliance with EU values is a prerequisite for Recovery and Resilience Facility

funding.

In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 411 votes in favour, 129 against, and 31 abstentions, Parliament expresses grave concerns about theCommission’s endorsementof Poland's €35.4 billion plan under theRecovery and Resilience Facility(RRF).

MEPs once again point to theexisting and continued breachesof the values enshrined inArticle 2 TEU, including of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, and deplore that, because of the Polish Government's actions, funding has not yet reached the people of Poland.

No money until compliance with EU law and values is guaranteed

MEPs reiterate that the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), as well asthe primacy of EU law, cannot be treated as bargaining chips. They point out that compliance with EU values is a prerequisite to have access to the Facility and that the rule of law conditionality mechanism is fully applicable here.

They strongly urge the Council to only approve Poland’s plan once it has fully complied with the provisions of theRRF Regulationon conflicts of interest and fraud and with allEuropean Semestercountry-specific recommendations in the field of the rule of law. Poland also needs to implement all relevant judgments of the ECJ and the ECtHR before its plan can be approved. MEPs also highlight that the key steps towards implementation (milestones) related to the financial interests of the European Union must be fulfilled before a first payment request is submitted.

Commission’s conditions not enough, and will needconsistent monitoring

The closure of the illegal Disciplinary Chamber and the transfer of its functions to another chamber of the Supreme Court is one of the Commission’s key conditions. A robust system will need to be in place to verify this process and a probation period, to ensure that the relevant standards are met.

MEPs regret that the issues regarding theillegitimate Constitutional Tribunaland the illegitimate National Council of the Judiciary are not addressed in the milestones, and call for an infringement procedure. Lastly, they recall that whether or not a country is observing the rule of law and managing EU funds correctly are to be evaluated continuously, including to ensure that reversals are avoided. Based on this monitoring and assessment taking place, the Commission must stop disbursing funds at any point in the RRF cycle, or should even recover them where applicable.

Background

In 2017, the Commission initiated a procedure underArticle 7to address a possible risk of breach of EU values in Poland. Parliament has since repeatedly asked the Council to act, and in 2020warned about further backsliding. MEPs haverepeatedly called for the conditionality mechanismto be activated to protect the EU budget from breaches of the rule of law in Poland. Photo by Laleczki, Wikimedia commons.

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