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Press: Orbán ‘Prepared to Veto EU Budget’

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.11.09.

Viktor Orbán is prepared to veto the EU budget and the recovery fund if the payment of funds to member states is tied to the rule of law, according to pro-government site mandiner.hu.

The prime minister has written to the EU German Presidency concerning the matter, the website said on Sunday.

Sanctions on EU member states would be agreed in the European Council by a qualified majority, according to an agreement reached between the Council and the presidency.

Approval of the 7-year EU budget and 750 billion euro Next Generation EU, however, requires unanimity in the Council.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has also indicated his willingness to use Poland’s veto if conditions regarding EU payments fall foul of Polish expectations, the website said.

Orbán addressed his letter to the leaders of next year’s EU presidencies, Slovenia and Portugal, as well as to Charles Michel, the Council’s head, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president.

The prime minister pledged Hungary’s commitment to cooperation but added that the government could not guarantee approval of the recovery package adopted in July due to the compromising of Hungarian interests regarding the rule-of-law-EU-payment issue.

Details on Why Orbán Gov't Finds New Deal on Linking EU Funds to Rule of Law Unacceptable
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Following a trialouge negotiation, the Council of the EU and European Parliament has reached an agreement on a new rule-of-law mechanism allowing Brussels to cut funding over the violations of democratic values in member states. The new deal is much stricter than the one presented in September preventing Poland and Hungary from simply blocking the […]Continue reading

He said values such as the rule of law were the bedrock of Hungary’s value system and democracy but, he added, the Hungarian people must judge how these are implemented, adding that Hungarians were just as capable this as other European citizens.

Orbán noted that the Hungarian legal system has been properly scrutinized by EU authorities and all outstanding disputes had been resolved.

Further, Hungary has submitted “hundreds of pages” of clarification documents over the past two years in connection with the Article 7 procedure ongoing against the country.

The prime minister insisted that the Commission’s recent report on the rule of law was based on politically motivated charges against Hungary rather than being fact-based. He added that the report was a way of interfering in the democratic electoral processes of certain countries.

Orbán said the planned sanctions mechanism was based on legally vague definitions such as “violation of the rule of law”. Such hazy concepts create opportunities for political abuses and breach the requirement of legal certainty, he wrote.

Orbán said if this situation persisted, the government would have “no other choice” than to reject the other elements of the July package.

Featured photo illustration by Vivien Cher Benko/PM’s Press Office