Split EU lawmakers rap Bulgaria on rule-of-law failings

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament turned up the heat on Bulgaria on Monday as lawmakers debated a resolution that highlights flaws by the EU’s poorest member in respecting the rule of law, combating endemic corruption and supporting media freedom.

A vote is expected later this week on the resolution that challenges Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s governance after almost three months of anti-graft protests in Bulgaria that seek his resignation.

Thousands of Bulgarians have been rallying daily since July, accusing three-times premier Borissov of eroding democratic rules and allowing corrupt practices that support oligarchs and businesses close to his centre-right GERB party.

In a heated debate, lawmakers from the socialist party family, as well as the Greens and liberals slammed Bulgaria’s government for backsliding on democratic values and abuse of EU funds.

MEPs from the centre-right group EPP, to which Borissov’s own party belongs, defended Borissov as a pro-European leader.

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E.U. rule-of-law report angers Hungary, Poland

It was issued the same day that E.U. diplomats preliminarily agreed to tie access to E.U. funds to respecting the rule of law, as negotiations on a $2.1 trillion E.U. spending package accelerate in the coming weeks. Defenders of principles such as an independent judiciary and a free press have long accused the European Unionof enabling illiberal leaders by failing to cut off the E.U. money that props them up.

“We are trying to open a new chapter in defending and promoting the rule of law in the E.U.,” said Vera Jourova, the bloc’s rule-of-law chief. “Deficiencies often merge into an undrinkable cocktail even if individual ingredients seem to be fine.”

The European Union was founded as a club of democracies, but it has struggled to intervene over the last decade as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban imposed stringent controls over the country’s judiciary, channeled public advertising funds to pro-government

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Germany Dilutes EU Rule-of-Law Plans With Virus Aid at Risk

(Bloomberg) — Germany proposed watering-down the conditions tying European Union funding to respect for the rule of law in what’s widely seen as a bid to reach a compromise to unlock the bloc’s landmark 750 billion-euro ($875 million) coronavirus recovery fund.



a man wearing a suit and tie: LEDNICE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JUNE 11: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing facemask pose for photographers during for the Visegrad Group (V4) summit at Lednice Chateau on June 11, 2020 in Lednice, Czech Republic. The Visegrad Group (V4), which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, met for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak caused many countries across Europe to close their borders and restrict international travel. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Stringer/Getty Images Europe
LEDNICE, CZECH REPUBLIC – JUNE 11: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing facemask pose for photographers during for the Visegrad Group (V4) summit at Lednice Chateau on June 11, 2020 in Lednice, Czech Republic. The Visegrad Group (V4), which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, met for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak caused many countries across Europe to close their borders and restrict international travel. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed a mechanism that could suspend payments to member states that are in breach of democratic values while making it harder

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Hungary and Poland to set up rule-of-law institute to counter EU attacks

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary and Poland will set up a joint institute to assess the state of rule of law across European Union member states so that they are “not taken for fools” over allegations of rule of law breaches, Hungary’s foreign minister said on Monday.

After meeting Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Budapest, Peter Szijjarto said an EU report on the rule of law, which will soon be discussed in Brussels, was expected to be a political statement, rather than any well-founded assessment.

“The aim of this institute of comparative law would be that we should not be taken for fools,” Szijjarto said, adding that he had “had enough of some western European politicians using us as a punchbag”.

The institute would examine how the rule of law was upheld across the EU, to avoid “double standards” being applied to Hungary and Poland, he said.

The Law and

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Hungary and Poland to Set up Rule-Of-Law Institute to Counter EU Attacks | World News

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungary and Poland will set up a joint institute to assess the state of rule of law across European Union member states so that they are “not taken for fools” over allegations of rule of law breaches, Hungary’s foreign minister said on Monday.

After meeting Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Budapest, Peter Szijjarto said an EU report on the rule of law, which will soon be discussed in Brussels, was expected to be a political statement, rather than any well-founded assessment.

“The aim of this institute of comparative law would be that we should not be taken for fools,” Szijjarto said, adding that he had “had enough of some western European politicians using us as a punchbag”.

The institute would examine how the rule of law was upheld across the EU, to avoid “double standards” being applied to Hungary and Poland, he said.

The Law and

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