BERLIN (Reuters) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday the European Union should cut funding and impose sanctions on members which pass laws that contravene core EU principles such having an independent judiciary and freedom of the press.
Maas told German broadcaster ZDF that countries like Romania, Hungary and Poland received more EU funding than they provided, so curtailing that could provide important leverage.
“There are basic core principles that all must respect,” Maas said on a ZDF program.
With members that breach them, “we’ll have to investigate if that should have financial consequences,” he added.
Cutting funding “is the only language that is understood there,” he said of countries which pass laws to restrict freedom of the press, for instance. (Reuters)