Europe is not an ATM, but a community of values, Manfred Weber, head of the EPP Group said in a video interview to German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung .
Talking about the European Union’s coronavirus aid package and the next seven-year EU budget, Weber agreed with EC President von der Leyen’s suggestion of making the disbursements dependent on the state of the rule of law in the recipient countries.
The Bavarian politician thinks it is not surprising that the governments of Hungary and Poland are ’vigorously trying to minimize this motion’ as proceedings against these countries are currently underway due to the rule of law concerns.
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In addition, Weber thinks the EU should be tough and called for the European Parliament to strengthen budgetary control, “especially in order to better fight corruption and wasteful spending.”
Beneficiary states are obliged to use the money for repairing their economies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Weber emphasized. The aid programs should create economic growth and jobs – and thus “a good future” for current and future generations, he said, adding that this is the reason why strict conditions and a serious repayment plan are so important. Without these, “we only create debt, not a future.”
Featured photo via Manfred Weber’s Twitter page