“Rule of law mechanism to be active on January 1, 2021,” says von der Leyen

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Despite EU leaders agreeing that the rule of law mechanism should be postponed by two years as it awaits a verdict from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen declared that it will be in operation starting January 1, 2021.
Former Polish FM Witold Waszczykowski noted that he had warned of such a scenario.
“An end has come to the illusions that European institutions will wait two years for the ECJ’s verdict. I have been reminding [people] for years that the EU is not a club of altruists. This is an ideological and institutional conflict, as well as a battle over the hegemony of the largest states,” he posted on social media. Waszczykowski also added in another tweet that “the conclusions were passed at the Council of the EU summit by the 27 leaders of EU states and governments in the presence of this lady [von der Leyen]. So, the bureaucratic Commission does not feel bound by the decisions accepted by democratically chosen leaders. I warned you.”
According to the political declaration of EU leaders, the mechanism associating the rule of law with access to EU funds was to be postponed for two years, until the ECJ released its verdict on the mechanism’s compatibility with EU law.
The President of the European Council Ursula von der Leyen challenged this declaration and announced that the conclusions of the Council of the European Union have no real meaning. According to her words in the European Parliament, Poland and Hungary cannot count on the delay of the mechanism.
“Council conclusions ultimately do not change anything about the conditionality mechanism neither in the law nor in its application. […] There’s a fear that the application of the regulation will be delayed and that justice delayed might be justice denied. This will not happen. The regulation will apply from January 1, 2021, onwards,” Radio Zet reporter Maciej Sztykiel quoted von der Leyen as saying and posted an audio clip with her speech in the European Parliament.

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