Why ending the #Article7 procedures against #Hungary & #Poland as part of the #BudgetDeal grand bargain is an utterly bad idea.

The #Article7 procedure is widely perceived as a completely failed, dysfunctional legal tool to enforce compliance with #EUvalues.
Therefore many see the closure of the ongoing procedures against #Hungary & #Poland as potential bargaining chips that may convince the EU's two autocratizing member states to withdraw from the blockade of the EUR 1800 bn budget deal
@EU2020DE @MKarnitschnig @meyer_resende
@ManfredWeber hinted on that option last week and rumours from @EU2020DE confirm the intention of the German Council presidency to please Warsaw and Budapest that way.
However, in spite of the #Article7 deadlock, ending the procedures would be a fatal mistake.
First, the move would clearly rehabilitate #Hungary and #Poland and further empower their governments which would exploit the issue in the domestic political arena.
It would send the message that there are no serious breaches of EU values in the two countries.
However, the exact opposite is the case.
Both countries are ripe for Article7(2) and the suspension of membership rights due to serious non-compliance with EU values like rule of law, the protection of fundamental rights and democracy (free but not fair elections in Hungary).
The move would encourage the two illiberal governments to extort and blackmail the EU whenever they can. This battle is definitely not the last one with the #PiS and #Fidesz governments, therefore empowering them for the future is a suicidal act.
The supporters of the idea leave out of consideration that domestic dynamics (a fall of the Polish government which is actually in deep crisis or a sudden but not unrealistic opposition win at the 2022 Hungarian elections) could render #Article7 a useful tool again.
If either Poland or Hungary remains alone and there is sufficient political determination to deploy it, Article 7 (2) can bite really hard.
The performance of @EU2020DE in this crisis will have an enormous political impact on the political legacy of #AngelaMerkel.
#Merkel has already a good chance that her historic legacy and reputation will be overshadowed by the highly dubious protection Germany has been providing for #Orban during the past decade.
If the German chancellor wouldn't like to be remembered as the #Chamberlain of the #EuropeanUnion, she has to play hardball with #Poland & #Hungary and refrain from the termination of the #Article7 procedures.
@RegSprecher @AuswaertigesAmt

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