Reinsalu not sure whether EU budget should be tied to rule of law

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu Source: Government Office

Estonia has not yet formed its final position regarding a proposal to tie the EU financial framework to compliance with principles of rule of law in member states, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.

PM of Finland Antti Rinne said on Sunday that no EU member state, including Hungary and Poland, is directly opposed to tying the union's financial framework to member states honoring principles of rule of law.

Reinsalu said in a short interview given to ERR on Monday that member states have not reached an agreement in this matter yet and the European Commission is still to discuss this matter alongside financial perspectives.

Estonia has not shaped a position regarding this proposal, the foreign minister said. "Estonia's position will be based on the final form of the proposal," Reinsalu added.

Reinsalu said there used to be serious legal problems regarding the Commission's proposal as pointed out by the Council of Europe's Legal Advice Division.

"The issue raised was whether this capacity regarding cuts, funds withheld is in accordance with the European Union treaties," the minister said.

Reinsalu said that tying different topics to each other requires serious consideration. "Whether disbursements and other issues should be connected like that – we need to measure nine times and cut once here. The Juncker Commission has proposed putting fines or duties on member states that do not accept refugees based on quotas in the past – I remain adamantly opposed in this regard," he said.

Reinsalu said that discussions concerning the proposal will continue next year. "The new Commission is about to take office, and I suppose these discussions could stretch into next year," the minister said.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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