Netherlands and Hungary Disagree on Union Funding at EU Summit

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who rejects conditionality of financing from the Union budget on the principles of the rule of law, criticized the position of his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte.

« We have to make this clear: if the (EU member states) agreement is blocked, it will not be my fault, but the fault of the guy from the Netherlands, because he started it, » Orban told on Sunday in Brussels.

According to him, he is also in favor of the rule of law, but the Dutch delegation at the summit is paving the way to create a new mechanism requiring changes to the treaty on the European Union.

The Hungarian prime minister added that his delegation is ready to find an agreement to stay in Brussels for at least a week. « We have booked our hotel for a week, » Orban said.

The question of the conditionality of funding from the Union budget in compliance with the principles of the rule of law is one of the stumbling blocks at the third day of the EU summit in Brussels, which was organized in person for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron, upon his arrival at the summit on Sunday, called « the question of the rule of law underlying budget conditionality » as one of the top priorities of the debate.

« There was a very broad consensus on this issue yesterday that we should not compromise on this, and this is the basis of European values, » Macron said.

Last Saturday, a broad majority of EU member states supported the proposal of President of the European Council Charles Michel, Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to condition allocation of European subsidies with respect to the principles of the rule of law. In their opinion, this is, among other things, motivated by Hungary and Poland departing from relevant norms.

Rutte also demands that the recipient countries of EU funding under the crisis recovery plan undertake deep socio-economic reforms.

At an extraordinary summit of the European Union, heads of state and government are discussing the EU budget for 2021-2027 and a plan for the anti-crisis economic recovery of the European Union. The European Council regulation on these projects requires unanimous approval. Since Sunday morning Michel has been holding difficult consultations with the leaders of the EU countries, and the plenary session of the European Council has not yet begun.

source: reuters.com

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