77% of Europeans want EU funds to be conditional on respect for rule of law. This was according to an October 2020 poll commissioned by the European Parliament. Almost 8 in 10 EU citizens think money from the EU’s long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund should only be distributed to Member States that can guarantee judicial independence, press freedom, protection for civil liberties, etc.
There are now reports that European leaders may be close to adopting such an approach. Hungary (which has, together with Poland, had been the target of multiple infringement proceedings from the EU over rule of law issues) had previously said such conditionality would be “unacceptable”.
Should EU funds be linked to rule of law? Should money from the EU’s long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund be conditional on having strong judicial independence, press freedom, and protection for civil liberties? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!