EU lawmakers and representatives of EU governments have struck a deal on a new mechanism to sanction certain kinds of rule of law backsliding in the bloc, in spite of opposition from Poland and Hungary.
The deal came after Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, put forward a proposal that allows for cash from the bloc’s shared budget to be withheld if for example national courts are deemed not independent enough to prevent misuse.
The German EU presidency and EU lawmakers confirmed the breakthrough on Thursday.
Warsaw and Budapest opposed the tool and previously threatened to block the passage of the EU’s long-term budget and coronavirus economic recovery package should it move ahead.
The additional mechanism is seen as a way to overcome frequent deadlocks in attempts to sanction member states amid concern about the independence of the judiciary or the press in several countries.
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