Victor Orbán's Hungary is one of the countries that has opposed the EU imposing stricter democratic and legal conditions for the disbursement of EU funds. Photo: European Parliament. Source: Flickr. Link:

Current debate

Week 7: EU can stop subsidizing undemocratic member states

Last week's debate has, among other things, discussed the EU's decision to withdraw subsidies for countries that do not comply with the rule of law - and what this could mean for regimes such as Poland and Hungary. Furthermore, several debaters have criticized the Green Party's statement that investments in nuclear power can cause uranium dependence on Russia.

The European Court of Justice have decided that contributions from the European Union may now be stopped to those Member States that do not comply with the rule of law. Last year, the rule was appealed to the European Court of Justice by the Polish government, which ruled that it had no legal basis in the treaties.

In Hungary, outraged voices have also been heard, Ingvar Persson writes Aftonbladet's leader side and quotes the Hungarian Minister of Justice who considered that "Brussels is abusing its power". Ingvar Persson also highlights the fact that both Poland and Hungary are among the member states that receive the largest subsidies, in terms of the number of inhabitants. Lack of EU funds can therefore have greater consequences for them.

- The verdict increases the pressure on regimes such as the Hungarian and the Polish, he writes.

On February 16, the European Court of Justice announced that the appeal was rejected. The decision could mean a turning point for the union, writes Martin Liby Troein in an editorial on Dagens Nyheter. The EU, which previously lacked the tools, now has a greater chance of counteracting an erosion of democracy.

- Perhaps the Union has finally found the means to curb authoritarian development, writes Martin Liby Troein.

Nuclear power

In a debate article in Svenska Dagbladet Last week, the Green Party's energy and climate policy spokesperson Lorentz Tovatts warned that the investment in nuclear power could cause further energy dependence on Russia, as Sweden imports uranium from there. In a reply Carl Berglöf, a nuclear power expert at Energiföretagen Sverige, opposes this.

"The market is not limited to suppliers from China and Russia, although most reactors today are built by these two countries because they are expanding their nuclear power sharply," writes Carl Berglöf.

He believes that since most investments in nuclear power reactors and uranium in other countries, such as France and the United States, the future will offer other alternatives to Russia and China as energy sources.

The statement from MP receives further criticism from Ellen Gustafsson, environmental and climate manager at the think tank Timbro, in a debate article on SvD. She claims that investing in green energy sources will cause as much dependence on authoritarian countries as nuclear power. For example, China is behind one-fifth of the investments made in Swedish wind power, according to Ellen Gustafsson.

"Renewable energy sources are also part of China's efforts to increase its influence in other countries," she writes.

EU grants can be stopped to member states

Now Viktor Orbán can bull as much as he wants

Ingvar Persson, Aftonbladet

Now things are starting to happen in the EU's fight against Orbán 

Martin Liby Troein, Dagens Nyheter

The nuclear debate

"New nuclear power can become a pawn in Russian power play"

Lorentz Tovatt (MP), Svenska Dagbladet

"Russia and China are not needed for new nuclear power"

Carl Berglöf, nuclear expert at Energiföretagen Sverige, Svenska Dagbladet

"Nuclear power criticism has increased Russia's power"

Ellen Gustafsson, Timbro's environmental and climate manager, Svenska Dagbladet

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