There’s a chance that the embattled EU budget will be approved during the summit of the bloc’s leaders, as Hungary has signalled that a compromise over rule of law will see Budapest and Warsaw lift their veto.
“There is a compromise, which is acceptable for Germany and meets the conditions of Hungary and Poland, therefore, there is a chance that we can book this victory at today's EU summit and heads of state and government can approve the documents… unanimously,” Hungary’s minister of the PM’s office, Gergely Gulyas, said during a press conference on Thursday ahead of the meeting between the EU leaders.
Said compromise contains “all the important guarantees” both Hungary and Poland sought, Gulyas stated, revealing that it includes an arrangement that no rule of law procedures would take place until at least 2023.
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On Wednesday, Poland also said that a preliminary agreement with the EU had been already drafted.
“A preliminary agreement is already sketched,” Polish President Andrzej Duda stated. “The work and discussions are ongoing, this agreement is the result of very fierce efforts by the Polish and Hungarian parties, but also by the German presidency.”
Hungary and Poland have recently been at odds with the rest of the bloc, as they opted to veto its seven-year budget. Apart from the budget, the two countries have also blocked a €750 billion coronavirus relief fund.
Warsaw and Budapest opposed the funding arrangement over a tied provision which would have allowed Brussels to withhold funds from nations that fail to meet the EU’s rule of law standards. Both countries had been targeted by the EU over concerns that they sought to damage press freedoms and make the judiciary less independent.
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Poland and Hungary, however, have consistently denied that any of their policies damage the rule of law principles, accusing Brussels of meddling in their domestic affairs.
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