EU’s New Weapon in Rule-of-Law Battle With Poland, Hungary: Money

BRUSSELS—The European Union has begun withholding resources from Poland and Hungary, escalating the struggle above democratic standards that is deepening the East-West divide in the bloc.

The EU and most governments in its Western region are involved about lawful modifications by Poland and Hungary that they feel are eroding the rule of legislation, weakening judicial independence, and breaching human rights. They are specially alarmed by an effort by Warsaw to assert the primacy of Polish legislation above EU legislation and court decisions.

The two nations, which are amid the greatest web recipients of European dollars, say the tension from Brussels signifies an ideological assault on their values and an try by unelected officials to curtail the rights of member international locations to shape their individual political techniques and legal guidelines.

The EU has had disputes for many years with Poland and Hungary above issues these as gay rights, which are incredibly hot-button subjects in many former communist international locations. Conservative voters and politicians in the region have argued that considering that joining the bloc in 2004, Brussels has significantly utilized its powers to impose Western European social values above area norms.

The European Commission’s fight with Poland above judicial independence is different from these disputes. Brussels officials argue that Poland’s initiatives to disregard EU court decisions and problem legislation could established precedents that undermine bloc-extensive rules—such as individuals governing the one market—and defang the supranational courts that law enforcement EU legislation.