After the agreement of European leaders on a historic €1.07 trillion draft budget and a €750 billion coronavirus recovery package, the deal is now facing the scrutiny of the European Parliament. After examining the compromise agreement of the 27 EU state leaders, a majority of 465 MEPs voted in favor of a resolution that threatens to withhold their support for the deal. The newly passed resolution states that MEPs “do not accept” the terms of the draft budget, especially the compromise that has been reached on the issue of the rule of law.
On Thursday, the EP debated the draft budget and coronavirus recovery package agreed upon by European leaders after a recent marathon Special European Council meeting. The MEPs turned out to be dissatisfied with the Council’s proposal. They accepted the bill with 465 votes in favor, 150 objections, and 67 abstentions.
The main concerns of the Parliament’s resolution are the long-term infeasibility of the provisional budget, the lack of the democratic scrutiny of public spending, and the lack of a rule of law condition on the reception of EU funds.
The EP delegation of Hungary’s Fidesz voted against the resolution. The reason behind their decision was that they wanted to avoid the adoption of a mechanism that allows for the “political blackmailing” of member states. Furthermore, the Fidesz MEPs told press that they are set on preserving the deal made after the long negotiation of leaders, for it greatly benefits Hungary and the interests of the Hungarian people. “Due to the strong and brave negotiation of the Hungarian prime minister, Hungarians have become one of the greatest winners of the negotiations,” they added.
MEPs said that they would be willing to withhold their support of the budget if the proposed corrections were not made. Even though the MEPs’ threat is significant, Eric Maurice, director of the Robert Schuman Foundation, maintains that politically it’s very difficult for the EP to reject a deal that everyone has been saying for weeks is urgent.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI.