End of the EU: A report from Brussels warns of perils that might “destroy unification.”
BRUSSELS will warn today that if a grave threat is not tackled, it might bring the EU to its knees and “destroy the union” itself.
The European Commission will say in its annual report on the rule of law that there are growing risks to judicial independence and the fight against public corruption in Hungary and Poland. However, because of challenges to EU law’s priority, similar warnings are expected to be issued to more mainstream member states, such as Germany and France. The Commission’s investigation, which will be released later today, cites “severe concerns” about judicial independence in both Budapest and Warsaw.
It will strongly criticize Hungary for failing to confront high-level corruption at the top of government, such as clientelism and favoritism.
The report will look at trends in all 27 EU countries, but it is expected to concentrate on the two most contentious rule-breakers.
Hungary and Poland are particularly sensitive chapters, as both countries are still vying for permission for their multibillion-euro stakes in the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund.
The Hungarian part will state that “vulnerabilities of clientism, favoritism, and nepotism in high-level public administration, as well as risks stemming from the nexus between corporations and political players, remain unaddressed.”
“Independent control measures for detecting corruption are lacking.
“There are still concerns about the lack of systematic inspections and oversight of asset and interest statements.
“While the rate of corruption indictments is high, and some new high-level corruption cases have been launched since 2020, the track record for investigations of claims involving high-level officials and their inner circle remains limited.”
The report also warns of the possibility of “undue influence” on corruption prosecutions in Poland.
It also raises questions about the fact that the country’s prosecutor-general is also the minister of justice.
Austria and Bulgaria have been mentioned as possible corruption hotspots, while the Czech Republic is reported to have high-level conflict of interest issues.
Didier Reynders and Vera Jourova, EU commissioners, will present the report later today.
If left unquestioned, Mr Reynders, the EU’s justice chief, has warned that challenges to EU law’s supremacy, such as those in Poland, might “destroy the union itself.”
MEPs are putting pressure on the Commission to toughen up on violations of the EU’s rule of law.
Brussels has been called by hardline politicians in the European Parliament. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”