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EU institutions must also be scrutinised on democracy, fundamental rights and rule of law

The mechanism, which would act as a tool for compliance with, and enforcement of, the EU Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights, is welcomed by GUE/NGL MEPs, though they believe that further steps are also needed.

Italian MEP, Barbara Spinelli, explains: “This resolution we are debating is important because for the first time we are not dealing with human rights outside the European Union’s domain, instead we are scrutinising whether we ourselves are able to respect the rule of law we pretend to embody. The new mechanism has exactly this objective, hence my overall positive opinion on it.”

“During the negotiations I proposed the same degree of scrutiny for the institutions of the European Union as for the member states. I am only partially satisfied with the result, since such scrutiny is promised, but not guaranteed. My amendments would have introduced such guarantees, and I’m really unhappy they were not approved.

“I hope that this mechanism will help to address the impact of austerity policies on the rights to health care, fair and just working conditions, and the right to transparent and accountable institutions. A mechanism of this sort is currently missing as Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union is de facto unusable, as this is an exclusive prerogative of the governments and therefore not impartial.”

French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, adds: “As citizens' confidence in the current state of the EU diminishes, we observe a different European dream emerging; one in which citizens no longer seek undistorted free market competition, but instead a Europe where democracy, human rights and the rule of law are respected and our values are put into practice.”

“Yet, in reality, the European Commission evokes the rules of the fiscal compact for Greece and Portugal, and puts pressure on Wallonia to accept a free trade agreement. And then when it comes to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Commission procrastinates over activating even the most minor infringement procedure for Poland and Hungary.

“Of course, Poland and Hungary are just examples. They are not the only member states breaching their citizens' fundamental rights, perhaps just those breaching their citizens' rights in the most dramatic ways.

“In short, we have an EU that believes it is ok to trample on democracy and fundamental rights, but that it is not ok to touch the dogmas of neoliberalism. It’s the famous Copenhagen Dilemma. This report tries to mitigate that with concrete proposals and I welcome it,” Vergiat concludes.

 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20