Can France really “disobey” European rules without leaving the coalition, as the left-wing elections argue?

This is one of the main points of the agreement of the New People’s Ecological Solidarity Union (Nupe) considering the legislative election. The text signed between La France insoumise and Europe Ecologie-Les Verts on the night of Sunday, May 1st to Monday, May 2nd. “Do not follow certain European rules”, “especially economical and budgetary”To become “You can apply [leur] program”.. A “Disobedience” This is also reflected in the agreement signed with the Communist Party on Tuesday. The text published Wednesday by socialists and “rebellious” pursues the same purpose, but with the aim of being more measured. “We are talking about disobeying some people and temporarily accusating others.”

The Nupe agreement is especiallyStability and Growth Pact rules, competition law, and “Productivist and Neoliberal Orientation” Of the common agricultural policy.they However, make sure that escalations for withdrawal from the European Union are excluded. But can EU member states really decide to ignore European rules? Franceinfo asked a community law expert a question.

The 27 member states of the European Union need to respect and implement community standards. “The principle is Superiority of European law over domestic law “, Professor of Public Law, Florence Chartiel Teral explains. It concerns both primary law (treats, protocols) and secondary law (regulations, directives, decisions). LThe superiority of European law has been repeated several times by the Court of Justice of the European Union since the 1964 ruling. 2007 statementLegal media Les Highlighters reminds me.

Therefore, unilaterally freeing yourself from European law is not without its consequences. “It happens that countries do not respect the rules of the European Union, but have since been exposed to sanctions.”Reminds me of Tania Racho, a European law doctor and a member of the highlighter population. If the country violates the rules, whether voluntary or not, the Commission can initiate infringement proceedings. These steps are posted monthly on the Commission’s website. (In English)..

“France has already been sued several times for not complying.”

Tania Racho, Ph.D. in European Law

on franceinfo

Initially, the Commission will discuss and negotiate with the countries concerned to change its behavior. At the end of this phase, If it still fails to meet its obligations, the Commission may file a proceeding with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failure to meet its obligations, which may result in a judgment. Economic sanctions can be decided in case of violation of a court decision.

In 2005 France was ordered to pay a fixed fine 20 million euros for violations of fishing standards. In this case, the CJEU also confirmed Paris’ accusations in 2011 of paying an additional fine of € 57 million. Recently, the court accused it of crossing France in October 2019. “Systematic and permanent” Air quality standards, demanding it “Comply with judgment as soon as possible”.. The Commission again seized the CJEU in this proceeding in 2020.

Other member states are also suffering from severe economic sanctions. For example, the CJEU has accused Poland of paying a fine of € 500,000 per day in 2021 as long as one of the mines considered environmentally harmful is active. That same year, Warsaw was required to pay a fine of € 1 million per day for the controversial reform of the judicial system.This fine is now “Over 160 million euros”, Said a member of the European Commission on Tuesday. In the face of the Polish government’s refusal to pay, the first installment payment of € 69 million was deducted from European funds.

In addition, if you violate the Stability and Growth Pact, especially eurozone countries, you need to keep your public deficit below 3%. Of GDP “There are certain excessive deficit procedures.”Added Eric Maurice, Director of the office in Brussels Of the Robert Schuman Foundation.However, the European Commission applies “Very flexible” These devices pay attention to public life sites. “France completed this procedure in May 2018, nine years after without sanctions.”

Beyond the risk of economic sanctions “Countries that refuse to apply European law cannot be excluded from the European Union.”, Said Pierre Yves Montjar, a professor of public law at Tour University. And for good reason, the procedure for excluding member states is not provided by European treaties. The heaviest sanctions defined in Article 7 of the Treaties of the European Union are the suspension of voting rights of member states in the European Council.

However, this article can only be valid if it violates the values ​​set forth in Article 2 of the EU Convention (human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights). In addition, on this basis, Article 7 was invoked against Poland and Hungary. Therefore, this procedure does not relate to a breach of the rules set forth in the Nupe agreement. Check out the experts interviewed by franceinfo.

That remains true if France openly decides to free itself from European rules on economic and budgetary issues. “There is a risk of being left behind.” In the European scene, add Florence Chartiel Terrar.

“The country will be exposed to political costs, which is a breach of trust with its partners.”

Eric Maurice, a member of the Robert Schuman Foundation

on franceinfo

This decision can lead “”Reactions from other countries will use it to circumvent European law and, worse, take retaliation against France. “Advance the highlighter.

In particular, experts point out that “disobedience” is an avoidable path. Because nothing prevents a country from negotiating with the European Union to benefit from the exception. In their joint press release, La France insoumise and Greens specifically cite Spain, which allegedly circumvented European rules. “About energy prices”..In fact, Madrid “We have joined forces with Portugal to negotiate measures to limit gas prices with the European Commission.” Details given at the end of April Araceli Turmo, a lecturer in European law at Nantes University. Therefore, Spain has not unilaterally been freed from the rules, but has signed a political agreement with the EU. “Therefore, the system has some flexibility.”Specialists comment.

“European law itself provides for relaxation of treaties in the event of exceptional circumstances.”

Pierre Yves Monjar, Professor of Public Law

on franceinfo

For example, in principle, national assistance granted to companies “Incompatible” Has the right to compete in the domestic market. However, there were criticisms and the rules were relaxed during the health crisis. Similarly, after 2020, the Stability and Growth Pact budget target has been suspended to enable economic recovery.

Finally, in a broader sense, Member States may not be able to participate. A specific area of ​​community cooperation. However, these exceptions, called “opt-outs” (or “opt-outs”), must be negotiated upstream when the Convention is amended.This is the Danish way Jean-Luc Melenchon quoted as an example on Saturday in France 2Benefited from the euro or defense exemption. “Therefore, we cannot ratify the treaty and decide overnight to no longer respect it.”Slice Eric Maurice.