Fi stqarrija waqt dibattitu plenarju, Alfred Sant qal li l-valutazzjonijiet jibqgħu dipendenti fuq kriterji politiċi suġġettivi li jistgħu ma jiġux applikati b’mod uniformi u bl-istess mod għal kulħadd.

Dak li jikkostitwixxi ksur tas-saltna tad-dritt għadu miftuħ għall-interpretazzjoni li ħafna drabi tiddiskrimina bejn l-Istati Membri. Barra minn hekk, l-implimentazzjoni ta’ dispożizzjonijiet dwar is-saltna tad-dritt inklużi deċiżjonijiet biex jiġu applikati sanzjonijiet tista’ tkun l-iktar oġġettiva jekk l-aġenzija li tapplikahom tkun indipendenti mill-aġenziji l-oħra kollha fl-Unjoni.

Jeħtieġ ukoll li jkolla status kważi-ġudizzjarju u s-setgħa li tinvestiga każijiet ta’ ksur ta’ regoli hekk kif jinqalgħu. Dan ma jidhirx li huwa l-każ hekk kif jinsabu l-affarijiet fil-preżent. Huwa estremament dubjuż jekk rwol bħal dan għandux jiġi assenjat lill-Kummissjoni Ewropea minħabba l-istatus eżekuttiv u politiku tagħha.

“Punt ieħor li wieħed għandu jżomm f’moħħu huwa jekk is-sanzjonijiet baġitarji kif maħsubin ma jispiċċawx iweġġgħu lil ħafna ċittadini li huma stess jistgħu jkunu vittmi ta’ ksur tas-saltna tad-dritt”, qal Alfred Sant.

Il-proposta mill-Kummissjoni tipproponi li l-fondi tal-UE għall-Istati Membri taħt il-baġit fit-tul tal-UE li jmiss ikunu jiddependu fuq ir-rispett tagħhom lejn is-saltna tad-dritt. Il-proposta tirrispondi prinċipalment għal kritika li l-UE ma tistax tieħu ħsieb pajjiżi fejn l-indipendenza tal-ġudikatura hija kompromessa, jew inkella hemm użu ħażin tal-fondi tal-UE.

 

 


No agreed rulebook to assess rule of law practices in the EU

In a statement during a plenary debate, Alfred Sant said that assessments remain dependent on subjective political criteria that may not be applied uniformly and equally to all.

What constitutes a breach of the rule of law is still open to interpretation that too often discriminates between Member States. Moreover, the implementation of rule of law provisions including decisions to apply sanctions can only be as objective as possible if the agency that applies them is independent of all other agencies in the Union.

It also needs to have a quasi-judicial status and the power to investigate cases of infringement as they arise. This does not seem to be the case as things stand at present. It is extremely doubtful whether such a role should be assigned to the European Commission given its executive and political status.

“Another point to keep in mind is whether budgetary sanctions as envisaged would not end up hurting most citizens who might themselves be the victims of alleged rule of law breaches”, Alfred Sant stated.

The proposal by the Commission proposes to make EU funds for Member States under the next long-term budget of the EU conditional on their respect for the rule of law. The proposal is mainly in response to criticism that the EU is unable to handle countries where the judiciary’s independence is compromised, or there is misuse of EU funds.

 

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