Polexit: ‘Dangers of things getting out of control’ says Meyer
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The European Union’s top court on Wednesday cleared the way to cut billions of euros of funds to Poland and Hungary, whose populist rulers the bloc accuses of violating democratic rights.
There is no appeal against the ruling by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ), which dismissed challenges by Warsaw and Budapest against a new EU sanction that would halt funding to member countries that break European laws.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the judgment “confirms we are back on the right track”.
Pledging to act according to the ruling against the governments of the two member states, she tweeted: “I welcome the ECJ confirmation of the legality of the conditionality regulation.
“The Commission will defend the Union’s budget against breaches of the principles of the rule of law.
“We will act with determination.”
But the comments sparked furious warnings for the EU Commission chief that the ruling could push member states out of the EU and follow the UK’s Brexit example.
Polish Twitter user Jaroslaw Pawelec wrote: “Breaking the treaties by political statement of TSUE must be responded by ceasing all payments made by Poland immediately and subsequently our membership need to reconsidered.
“Marxist EU brings no value.
“UK understood it and paved the right way. We shall follow.”
Twitter user David Security from the Netherlands added: “And BOOM! Again EU is taking power over our money, non democratic EU Court. It is abuse! Nexit.”
And Lil Hoppe echoed: “Boris Johnson offered these people an alternative.
“Time for a new EU, this time without bureaucrats.”
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A Twitter user called Zlymareczek warned Mrs von der Leyen: “It means the end of EU, you know that?”
At stake are hundreds of billions of euros of funds, the EU’s internal cohesion, and its international standing.
Hungary and Poland have long been big beneficiaries of EU funds, which the bloc has poured into the former communist countries to help develop their economies since they joined in 2004.
The EU says that to receive those benefits, countries must uphold common European standards, which Warsaw and Budapest have flouted by imposing political control over the judiciary and media, and restricting civil rights.
Disagreements over the rule of law come as the bloc seeks to present a united front on its eastern flank, where Russia has massed forces near Ukraine.
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The decision could also have immediate political impact, particularly in Hungary, where an April 3 national election is expected to be the tightest race for nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban since his landslide victory in 2010.
Mr Orban’s ruling Fidesz party said the ruling was “political revenge” against Hungary, meant to help the united opposition.
Justice Minister Judit Varga said Brussels was abusing its powers against national member states.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference: “Poland believes that centralisation, bureaucratic centralisation, federalisation… is a dangerous process.”
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