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The issue of financial aid is a test of strength for the EU

During the conflict over the rule of law mechanism, the EU is increasing pressure: either Poland and Hungary withdraw their veto on the EU budget or the other 25 EU countries will create an aid Fund to restore the economy without them. As stated by representatives of the European Union, their agreement with the conditions of Brussels, the obstinate countries should Express even before the EU summit, which will be held on Thursday. As the press notes, the conflict goes far beyond purely financial issues and has a huge political significance.

The legitimacy of the European Union is at stake

De Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing puts the question squarely:

“Yes, we are talking about money. On the EU budget for the next period — and on the Fund for economic recovery from the consequences of the corona crisis in the amount of 750 billion euros. If an agreement cannot be reached with these imaginary democracies, which were so warmly welcomed into the European Union 16 years ago, the EU faces a failure to adopt the budget and block the economic recovery Fund. 'This is a financial disaster!'- is heard here and there. However, it would be a much greater disaster if the EU member States succumbed to blackmail — and went along with these loudmouths. Then it is better to do without the Fund, without the budget, but not to deviate from the principles. If the European Union allows these imaginary democracies to put sticks in its wheels, then it will lose any legitimacy.»

This is more dramatic than Brexit!

The EU should never make a forced compromise with Warsaw and Budapest, the Financial Times also believes:

“It is likely that the plans to link payments from EU funds to the recipient country's compliance with the rule of law are the last opportunity for Brussels to put pressure on the Polish and Hungarian governments to change their course. If the efforts fail, then it is possible that the EU will have to admit that its claim to be a club of democratic countries based on the principles of law has lost all Foundation. The fiasco will be much more offensive if Poland and Hungary continue to receive generous funding from the EU budget. In the end, the correct EU response to the problem with Hungary and Poland is a much more serious and fundamental issue than Brexit.»

Let Budapest and Warsaw think about the consequences

According to Suddeutsche Zeitung, EU countries should not limit themselves to words — they need real actions:

“It is quite possible to establish the work of the Fund for economic recovery without the participation of Poland and Hungary. The lack of this money will be particularly painful for Poland. With the EU's interim budget [coming into force if the final budget for the new period is not adopted], both countries will have a difficult time, and they will still not be able to prevent the adoption of a rule of law mechanism. Thus, the more serious the pressure, the sooner Poland and Hungary will sit down to calculate whether they are ready to pay for their veto at the expense of the population of their countries. Angela Merkel will not be able to end her political career in the all-European format with a formal compromise.

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