Hungary And Poland block European Recovery Funds

Hungary will veto the European budget for the period 2021-27, which includes the Covid recovery fund, because it does not accept that access to funds is conditioned on strict respect for the rule of law in member countries. The Hungarian government spokesman confirmed that Budapest would vote against the package. Poland has joined the Hungarian veto for the same reason. Poland and Hungary are two countries that are subject to scrutiny by the European institutions, precisely due to the controversial attitude of their governments – both nationalists – towards democratic principles.

To avoid a very serious institutional crisis, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the president of the Council Charles Michel, as well as the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds the rotating presidency this semester, have already initiated informal contacts to avoid that crisis .

For Michal Dworczysk, chief of staff of the Polish president Mateusz Moraviecky, the conditionality of respect for the rule of law to access funds “is an attempt to create a political mechanism through which some EU countries could try to pressure us, something that is not we will accept ». In this sense, he has already sent a letter to Brussels warning of the positioning of his Government.

For his part, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has already sent a letter to the EU institutions threatening to veto the budget and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote a similar letter last week. A spokesperson for the Commission has confirmed that these letters “are on the table, but have not yet been answered.”

The member countries had reached an agreement on multi-year budgets with the Parliament and had also accepted the creation of a fund of 750,000 million euros of debt assumed by the Commission and whose interest should be paid out of the income of the Community budget. In other words, the two issues are legally linked. At the same time, almost all countries agreed to create a mechanism to link access to these funds with respect for democratic mechanisms.

Both vetoes could delay the entry into force of the recovery funds, which still need the endorsement of national parliaments, and the Budget of the European Union (EU planned for January 1. Only the latter represents 1,074 billion euros.

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