Minister Byrne welcomes Court of Justice decision upholding Budget Conditionality Regulation
Press release16 February 2022
Minister Byrne welcomes Court of Justice decision upholding Budget Conditionality Regulation aimed at addressing breaches of the Rule of Law
This morning, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment in Cases C-156/21 and C-157/21 upholding the legality of Regulation on a General Regime of Conditionality for the Protection of the Union Budget. This Regulation provides for the Council of the European Union to adopt measures suspending EU funding to Member States if breaches of rule of law principles there present a risk to the protection of the EU budget.
Ireland welcomes this decision.
At the October 2021 hearings in these cases, Ireland had intervened along with nine other like-minded Member States and the European Commission to oppose the actions Hungary and Poland had brought seeking annulment of the Regulation. Today’s judgment confirms Ireland’s position that this Regulation is fair, proportionate and serves a legitimate and important purpose by installing a more rigorous regime for proper disbursement of the EU’s budget.
Welcoming the judgment, Minister of the State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne T.D., said:
"I welcome the Court of Justice’s decision affirming the validity of Budget Conditionality Regulation. The Court’s judgment allows the EU to use this important tool to protect the EU budget and to respond to rule of law challenges in Member States. I would like to thank the legal team involved in Ireland’s intervention for their work in this case.
"I have consistently underlined the need for a robust response to ensure the EU’s foundational values, including rule of law, are safeguarded. Indeed, the 2021 EMI/RED C poll of opinions of people across Ireland about Europe and the EU saw 77% of respondents agree that the EU should only provide funds to Member States if their Governments adhere to rule of law principles, such as democracy, human rights and equality. Ireland will partake fully in any upcoming Council discussions should the European Commission opt in due course to make use of the budget conditionality mechanism."
16 February 2022