EU needs mechanism to safeguard the rule of law: Alfred Sant

Former Labour Prime Minister Alfred Sant has voted in favour of a European Parliament Resolution on rule of law conditionality and said that it could be a step towards the introduction of an EU mechanism that would truly and legitimately safeguard the rule of law in the Union.

The rule of law conditionality mechanism is a new tool designed to protect EU funds from being misused by EU governments who are found to have failed to respect the principle of the rule of law.

Addressing the plenary of the European Parliament, Alfred Sant agreed with the principle that the respect of fundamental rights
should be safeguarded in all the EU’s acts and policies. He added that procedures to implement this objective must be
transparent and objective if they are to be valid and meaningful. They must be free of all subjective and partisan political
manoeuvering, and applicable independently of the EU’s “executive” and “legislative” branches.

“Unfortunately, the record has been patchy at best when rule of law considerations have come up for scrutiny by EU institutions, not least this Parliament. Consistently, political criteria served to trump fact based approaches. All sides have played this game but the text we have voted upon limits such effects”, Alfred Sant told MEPs

“It puts clear boundaries to the field of application of rule of law checks. This is not ideal but, in the circumstances, it promotes a
meaningful focus for how rule of law considerations can be developed”.

At present, despite the rhetoric, mechanisms that truly safeguard the rule of law in the EU do not exist, Alfred Sant stated. 
The resolution was adopted on by 529 votes in favour, 148 against and 10 abstentions.

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