Poland and Hungary are both under formal EU investigation for not respecting the rule of law
The European Parliament launched a lawsuit against the bloc's executive on Friday for failing to apply a new law that allows the freezing of EU payments to countries which do not respect rule-of-law principles.
The executive European Commission, which is the guardian of European Union laws, has said it would only apply the law, called the conditionality regulation, once the EU's top court rules it is in line with EU treaties -- a ruling that might come next year.
The Commission's decision to delay application of the law is part of a deal made in December 2020 between EU governments and Poland and Hungary that a court ruling on the law would have to come first.
Both countries have challenged the law.
The parliament argues, however, that the Commission is obliged by the treaties to apply EU laws when they come into force, without waiting for a court ruling on their validity.
"The Parliament’s legal service today submitted the lawsuit against the European Commission for its failure to apply the Conditionality Regulation to the Court of Justice," the parliament said in a statement.