Hungary and Poland have fulfilled their threat and vetoed the EU's draft budget for the period up to 2027. Thus, they blocked the payments of multibillion-dollar amounts from the fund for economic recovery from the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. With their veto, Budapest and Warsaw are protesting against EU plans to impose sanctions for violations by member states of the rule of law. Will the EU have new talks?
A blow to the EU foundation
De Standaard fears that the EU is slipping into a quagmire of crisis, from which there is no way out:
вЂњThe fact that the governments of the two EU member states are blackmailing the other 25 states in order to ensure themselves the opportunity to further emasculate the rule of law is a blow to the foundation of the European building. It seems almost unrealistic that any compromise will be found at the last moment. ... Here we are not dealing with a dispute between individual leaders of European countries that could be settled among themselves вЂ” the approval of the European Parliament is required, and it will not yield to pressure. ... By choosing such an explosive option, Hungary and Poland isolate themselves within the community. But simply taking and throwing them out of the EU is, from a legal and political point of view, a nightmare that is hardly realizable.
Poland may be empty-handed
Gazeta Wyborcza expresses concern that Poland may be excluded from the coronavirus crisis disbursement program:
вЂњThe most acute problem that a veto from Poland and Hungary can lead to is the refusal to pay from the fund for economic recovery. ... There is a serious risk that all other EU countries will begin to reshape the fund along and across вЂ” in such a way that both countries that have vetoed will be excluded from the program (for example, within the framework of the Eurozone Plus formula). If the legislation does not provide for such a decision regarding the budget, then as far as the restoration fund is concerned, this is very possible. Even in the spring, there were concerns in Poland that the fund discussed at that time could be created only for countries belonging to the eurozone.вЂњ
We are against arbitrariness!
According to the Hungarian pro-government newspaper Magyar Nemzet, the rule of law criterion is just an excuse to impose liberal values on countries like Hungary:
вЂњIf it is not clearly defined in advance which violations can be sanctioned by non-payment of funds from EU funds, then anyone can come up with a new fashionable idea of how, in his opinion, the criteria for the rule of law are violated. ... Here, along with the homosexual lobby, one should expect the activation of those who believe that illegal migration is a blessing and that society is able to cope with it.вЂњ
Resistance may arise
According to Corriere Della Sera, the main danger in terms of the adoption of the EU budget and the reconstruction fund does not come from Warsaw and Budapest:
вЂњYesterday afternoon in Brussels, it became apparent that a crack had formed in the European building. The Reconstruction Fund was taken hostage by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban with the support of his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki. However, sooner or later, Budapest and Warsaw will back down. The real threat here is the so-called economical countries, including the Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden, among others.вЂњ