Brussels (Brussels Morning) Prime Minister Viktor Orbán noted on Friday that Hungary will continue to stand its ground in the rule of law deadlock, DW reported today, Friday.
He rejected the move to make acceptance of the EU’s rule of law clause a condition for disbursements from the EU coronavirus recovery fund and the bloc’s long-term budget as unacceptable.
Hungary and Poland are protesting against the clause which would make access to EU funds dependent on adherence to EU’s democratic standards. The two have vetoed the package comprising the long-term budget, the coronavirus recovery fund and the new clause.
Both EU member states are under investigation for jeopardising the independence of media, courts and NGOs, and are therefore at risk of losing access to EU funds should the conditionality clause be passed.
Jarosław Gowin, Poland’s Minister of Development, Labour and Technology, noted that EU officials had announced plans to bypass the Polish and Hungarian vetoes by reaching a deal on the recovery fund among the remaining 25 EU member states.
Gowin warned that failure to reach an agreement on the recovery fund would jeopardise EU’s 2021-2027 budget, necessitating the abandonment of many long-term infrastructural projects and investments.
He stressed that Poland, though severely hit if this happened, could survive without the funds thanks to its strong economy. However, he observed that there was little point in going without EU funds if an agreement can be reached, indicating that Poland would be willing to accept a binding declaration that access to EU funds would not be used as leverage.
Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Paweł Jabłoński, stressed that his government would not accept proposals that would leave the country at the mercy of the EU Commission.
Last week, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested that Hungary and Poland should bring the case before the EU Court of Justice if they contend that the bloc is acting illegally.
Commenting on the row with Hungary and Poland on Friday, EU Council President Charles Michel stressed that respect for the rule of law is deeply ingrained in the EU, Reuters reports. He expressed hope that the deadlock wouldl be resolved as soon as possible.