Daniel Freund

15. October 2021 Anti-Corruption

Legal Affairs Committee votes in favour of lawsuit against the EU Commission for failure to act

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has just cleared the way for a lawsuit against the Commission for failure to act in the application of the rule of law conditionality mechanism. By a large majority (13+ / 03- / 06 O), MEPs recommended that the European Parliament should submit such a complaint. As the next step, the President of the Parliament must instruct the Parliament’s legal service to file the lawsuit in court. It is very likely that he will approve.

Daniel Freund, Green negotiator for the Rule of Law Conditionality Mechanism in the Committee on Budgetary Control, comments:

“The European Parliament’s action is a response to the exacerbating rule of law crisis and the EU Commission’s continued refusal to act. We are determined to take all legal steps to make the Commission act and impose sanctions on the rule of law offenders in the EU. The verdict of the so-called ‘Constitutional Tribunal’ in Poland last week has shown once again that a Commission that keeps quiet, encourages those who act against the European legal order. We will not stand idly by while the fundamental rights of European citizens are curtailed and the rule of law is dismantled. These days, we are experiencing the defining moment of Ursula von der Leyen’s term in office. Europe’s rule of law is in serious crisis –  and hardly anything is being done to protect it.”

Three examples of the worsening crisis of the rule of law in several EU member states:

  • Poland leaves European legal order: Last week, the politically staffed, so-called “Constitutional Tribunal” in Poland ruled that Polish law takes precedence over European law. Poland has thus de facto left the Union’s legal order, because according to the judgement, EU law is no longer binding for any state institution.
  • Sabotage of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office in Slovenia: Slovenia is the only remaining Member State that still has not appointed delegated prosecutors for the newly created European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Prime Minister Jansa had recently illegally interfered in the nomination process, thus preventing the Prosecutor’s Office from properly prosecuting cases of corruption and misuse of EU funds in the country.
  • Transfer of Hungarian universities into private foundations: A few months ago, the Hungarian government converted the majority of Hungarian universities into private foundations, bringing them largely under its control. The founding boards of these foundations are in the hands of allies of the ruling party. All funds, including public funds, that flow to the foundations are no longer subject to any public scrutiny.
We are determined to take all legal steps to make the Commission act.


The EU can be our best tool in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But it must also be used in the right way. In the future, the EU should fight corruption much more decisively. That is why I have set up an Intergroup against corruption in the European Parliament.