By Rabia Iclal Turan
ANKARA (AA) - The European Commission head on Wednesday said Poland and Hungary can take their complaints to court over the linking of the EU budget with the rule of law.
Speaking at the European Parliament, Ursula von der Leyen asked the two countries to stop blocking the EU's 2021-2027 budget and recovery plan.
"For anyone who would nevertheless harbor doubts, there is a clear path: they can go to the European Court of Justice and have the new rules scrutinized down to the last detail," she said.
But she added that the “rule of law” condition is “appropriate, proportionate and necessary”.
About Brexit negotiations, von der Leyen said there are still some important issues to agree on between the EU and the UK.
“There are still three issues that can make the difference between a deal and no deal,” she said.
“The crucial topics for the European side are of course questions linked to the level playing field, governance and fisheries,” she added.
The European Union is ready to be “creative” to reach an agreement but it is also prepared for a no-deal-scenario, von der Leyen told European Parliament.
As the daily coronavirus cases and deaths are on the rise in Europe, she called on the EU countries to learn from the previous mistakes during the summer.
“Relaxing too fast and too much risks a third wave after Christmas,” she added.
EU leaders on July 21 agreed on spending €1.82 trillion ($2.08 trillion) for the period of 2021-27, which includes the €750 billion ($857 billion) recovery instrument to help relaunch the European economy after the COVID-19 crisis.
Lawmakers also asked for a stronger rule of law conditionality, implying that EU budget transfers could be suspended or stopped if a member state system proves to have deficiencies – such as uninvestigated corruption or compromised judicial independence – which might affect the bloc’s financial interests.
Hungary and Poland opposed the deal that links the access to EU funding with adherence to the rule of law.