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EU Financing / Budgetary Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Protecting the EU budget against generalised rule of law deficiencies [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Rafał Mańko (1st edition),

Gericht - es geht um viel Geld

© Tanja Esser / Fotolia

On 3 May 2018 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on the protection of the Union’s budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in a Member State. The proposal addresses, from a budgetary perspective, generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law, including threats to the independence of the judiciary, arbitrary or unlawful decisions by public authorities, limited availability and effectiveness of legal remedies, failure to implement judgments, or limitations on the effective investigation, prosecution or sanctions for breaches of law. The proposal provides for the possibility for the Commission to make proposals to the Council on sanctions measures with regard to EU funding. These include suspension of payments, suspension, reduction or even termination of legal commitments (to pay), suspension of programmes, and the transfer of money to other programmes. Such a proposal would be deemed to have been adopted if the Council failed to reject it by a qualified majority. On 17 August 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) delivered its opinion on the proposal and on 3 October 2018, Parliament’s co-rapporteurs presented their draft report on the proposal. While sharing the broad objectives put forward by the Commission, they have proposed a number of amendments.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the Union’s budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States
Committees responsible:

Budgets (BUDG) and Budgetary Control (CONT) (jointly under Rule 55)

COM(2018) 324

Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, Finland) and Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, Spain)

Shadow rapporteurs:



Esteban González Pons (EPP), Inés Ayala Sender (S&D), Ali Nedzhmi (ALDE), Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE), Dennis De Jong (GUE/NGL), Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL), Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA), Jávor Benedek (Greens/EFA), Marco Valli (EFDD) Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Vote on report in committee

EU Legislation in progress timeline

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