Wednesday, January 20

Poland and Hungary threaten European recovery plan with veto

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (right) and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki, in Lubin, Poland on September 11, 2020. – Czarek Sokolowski / AP / SIPA

While the European Union must already manage complicated negotiations with London to finalize Brexit, difficult discussions have started on another front. On Monday evening, the Polish authorities confirmed that they were ready to go to a standoff with the other European countries on the issue of the Union budget. Above all, Poland is not the only one to want to provoke an internal clash. The Polish and Hungarian heads of government remain determined to use their veto if their request to withdraw the conditions linked to the rule of law is not heard.

Germany must take a step

“The position of Poland and Hungary remains clear. We are awaiting proposals from the German Presidency ”, declared Piotr Muller, spokesman for the Polish government, after a working meeting in Warsaw of the Polish and Hungarian prime ministers. Mateusz Morawiecki and Viktor Orban “discussed the strategic variants of negotiations” on the European budget, with a view to the next European summit, he stressed.

Regularly pinned down by Brussels for their reforms accused of undermining democratic values, Poland and Hungary blocked the adoption of the multi-year budget and the post-Covid-19 European recovery plan. The two countries are opposed to a mechanism allowing them to be deprived of funds in the event of violations of the rule of law (independent justice, anti-corruption policy, etc.), seeing it as an attack on their independence.

New discussions this Tuesday

This position irritates some member countries who are impatiently waiting to take advantage of the stimulus package aimed at economies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Piotr Muller, the Polish Prime Minister is due to meet this Tuesday online with the head of the European Council and then with “some heads of government” on this subject.

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