The EC will Bind EU Funds to the Independence of the Judiciary

World » EU | January 24, 2018, Wednesday // 09:31
Bulgaria: The EC will Bind EU Funds to the Independence of the Judiciary

EU Member States to go through a test of the independence of their judiciary systems before they receive money from the EU funds, said the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Rights and Gender Equality Vera Jourova quoted by VOA.

She has undertaken to draw up a similar proposal to her colleagues from the European Commission. Jourova is part of the team involved in preparing the community budget for the new 7-year financial framework that begins in 2021, following Brexit. Eurosystems are in the first phase of negotiations on the new budget, amounting to nearly 1 trillion euros a year. The project is expected to be published by May.

Jourova's idea is most likely inspired by the problems with Poland, against which the EC has taken measures to withdraw its right to vote in the EU for not respecting the rule of law. The ruling in Warsaw are trying to control the judiciary and has already adopted several laws in this direction, triggering the wrath of the European institutions.

According to Vera Jourova,  there is a consensus that consideration should be given to strengthening judicial systems while planning the new budget. "Independent justice is necessary for effective control over the use of EU funds, and I want to suggest that both things be tied up," she says. According to Jourova, in the second half of 2018, a review of EU policy on standards in justice could be made.

The EU Commissioner points out that any new rules to be adopted will apply to all Member States and to all EU funds, not only for Cohesion Funds. "This should not be seen as a punitive measure, but as a mechanism to support good practices," she added.

However, the Commissioner's proposal may not be approved if the governments of the Member States decide to stop it.

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Tags: EC, funds, justice system

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