Slovakia’s parliament has condemned the actions of European institutions in their disputes with Hungary and Poland concerning serious breaches of the principle of the rule of law. With the resolution, adopted on February 1, it calls for the continuation of constructive and effective dialogue between the parties involved, the Euractiv.sk website reported.
The European Commission launched proceedings against Poland in early 2018 and the European Parliament initiated actions against Hungary late in the summer of the same year. They criticised both countries for passing laws governing the judiciary that weaken its independence and subordinate it to the executive power.
The resolution was submitted by MPs for the Slovak National Party (SNS): Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, Tibor Bernaťák and Jaroslav Paška. The party had wanted parliament to adopt a similar resolution at the end of last year but met with opposition from its coalition partner Most-Híd, which claimed that the text was not agreed by the whole coalition.
However, most of its MPs voted for the document this time round, the TASR newswire reported.
The direction of Slovakia’s foreign policy has not changed after adopting the resolution, said Tibor Bastrnák, MP for Most-Híd.
“We remain a pro-European country, but we want to strengthen the regional principle,” he told TASR, adding that MPs were free to decide whether they would support the resolution.
As Basternák stressed, they wanted everybody to talk and find a compromise. Further sanctions would not improve the situation, he added.
The only Most-Híd MP to vote against the resolution was Katarína Cséfalvayová, while another MP Peter Kresák abstained from the vote.
Apart from the coalition deputies, Sme Rodina and five non-affiliated MPs also voted for the document, Euractiv.sk wrote.
What is the resolution about?
With the resolution, the parliament takes the actions against Hungary and Poland into consideration and claims that it will actively support and use all opportunities for mutual dialogue between Hungary, Poland and the EU institutions that will answer all open questions.
The current situation should be solved by constructive dialogue without negative consequences in order for the cooperation of all interested parties. In its opinion, there is a space for effective discussion between the involved parties, as reported by TASR.
“The parliament considers the vote by the European Council to trigger respective sanction mechanisms as a last resort to be used in cases where all other options fail,” reads the resolution, as quoted by TASR.
It is necessary to adopt steps and decisions that will help restore mutual trust and overcome the dividing lines between EU member states and institutions, according to the resolution.
The parliament also called on all interested parties to show political will to continue in constructive and efficient dialogue about all disputed questions in order to keep EU unity and reduce mutual tensions, as reported by TASR.
However, as Euractiv.sk pointed out, triggering the sanction mechanisms against Poland and Hungary had been preceded by a long dialogue during which EU institutions had required both governments to explain concerns about the rule of law. The mechanism was launched only after they had offered insufficient explanations, and neither Warsaw nor Budapest were willing to revise the problematic provisions, the website reported.
4. Feb 2019 at 23:46 | Compiled by Spectator staff