EU top court dismisses Polish, the Hungarian rule of law challenge

EU top court dismisses Polish, the Hungarian rule of law challenge

February 17, 2022: -On Wednesday, the European Union’s top court dismissed a Polish and Hungarian challenge to a recent sanction that would cut funding to member countries violating democratic rights and freedoms.

The final ruling by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice marks a milestone in the EU’s feuds with populist rulers in Poland and Hungary. They stand accused of undercutting democratic rights and values.

Hundreds of billions of euros of the EU’s internal cohesion and international standing are at stake.

Warsaw and Budapest, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban faces a tightly contested April 3 election, deny wrongdoing and accuse the EU of imposing liberal values alien to what they say are their traditional, conservative, and Catholic societies.

Thirty-six billion euros ($41 billion) in pandemic recovery funds earmarked for Poland, and 7 billion euros for Hungary, are frozen over their track record on democratic rights and values.

The EU will now take weeks to start cutting handouts formally, and several months of political horsetrading are expected.

“It is highly that the mechanism will be triggering against Hungary, probably in March, but not against Poland,” said Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group consultancy.

“It will take a few months for the process and politics to play out, meaning any suspension of EU budget funds is not until the third or fourth quarter of this year – if at all.”

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EU top court dismisses Polish, the Hungarian rule of law challenge