The Rule of Law and EU funds: Legal and Political Perspectives
In the aftermath of the Next Generation EU 750 billion euro fund, the EU lawmaker adopted a horizontal ‘conditionality mechanism’ that made Member States’ access to funds from the EU budget conditional on respect for the principles of the rule of law. The regulation has gone from being an instrument whose primary objective was the protection of the rule of law to a budgetary conditionality mechanism. In February 2022 the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed the actions brought by Hungary and Poland against the regulation. In its landmark judgment, the CJEU concluded that the new conditionality mechanism, which is more speedy and effective, could complement Article 7 TEU’s procedure for protecting the rule of law. In September 2022, the European Commission proposed budget protection measures under the conditionality regulation against Hungary. However, whether Member State governments representing at least 65% of the total EU population agree with the proposed measures remains to be seen in December. This seminar will explain the principles of the rule of law from the perspective of the CJEU, and the requirements relevant to the implementation of European funds. The conditionality mechanism, as a mechanism founded in law, ensures the political accountability of national, regional, and local authorities in complying with the rule of law.
Dr. Ivana Damjanović is a lecturer at the Canberra Law School and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for European Studies of the Australian National University. She is an interdisciplinary researcher who holds qualifications in law, economics, and international relations, and has qualified as a lawyer in Australia and Croatia. She has gained academic experience as a lecturer in Australia and Asia, teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate law and business programs, and as a guest lecturer in Europe. Ivana has also worked in a range of roles, including as a diplomat for the Government of Croatia, legal consultant, and trade advisor for the Delegation of the European Union to Australia. She has published on international investment and trade law and the EU’s external trade relations. Her first monograph on the EU’s reform of international investment law will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2023.
Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer is a professor of EU, Comparative, and Environment Law at the Université St. Louis in Brussels. He is currently a Jean Monnet Chair on a Right to a Clean Environment. He previously held a Jean Monnet Chair on Trade and Environment (2011-14) and a Marie Curie Chair at the University of Oslo. In 2017 he was a Distinguished International Visiting Professor at the University of Canberra. He has been a guest professor at different Australian, Asian, African, Latin American, and North American Universities (working languages English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Norwegian) and is cooperating with more than 20 universities across the EU. Professor de Sadeleer has organized a number of policy debates on different issues of EU law, including EU environmental law, climate change, sustainable development agenda, and investment law. He has collaborated with policy think tanks in Brussels and has cooperated as a consultant with the European Commission, different NGOs, and governments at local, national, and international levels. He is the author of 13 books and has published articles on EU environmental law, free movement of goods, internal market, EU tax law, and EU investment law.