The European Commission will not hesitate to intervene against Slovakia in any way, including limiting funds, if the actions of Robert Fico’s government in the area of the rule of law violate the rules of the European Union.
According to Reynders, the planned abolition of the elite branch of the Slovak prosecutor’s office and other adjustments to the functioning of judicial authorities are worrying, and the EU executive is analyzing these plans.
MEPs have called a plenary debate in Strasbourg amid concerns that the plan approved by the Fitz government could weaken the country’s rule of law and breach provisions of EU law. In addition to the abolition of the special prosecutor’s office, the cabinet in Bratislava wants to push through, for example, a reduction in penalties for corruption in an accelerated procedure.
“I would like to assure you that the commission will not hesitate to take any step necessary to ensure respect for EU law, including sound financial management of the EU budget,” Reynders told lawmakers today.
The aforementioned principle of protecting the EU budget allows the commission to freeze European funds intended for a country that does not sufficiently ensure their proper use. This is what Hungary is currently feeling.
On December 5, the commission sent a letter to Bratislava with a request that Fico’s government not accept the mentioned modifications in an accelerated procedure and at least allow a proper discussion. According to Reynders, Brussels received a reply on December 8, in which the Slovak authorities explain why they want to continue with accelerated adoption. According to the commissioner, the amendment is to be approved on January 15.