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Warsaw and Budapest unite on the question of values

For now, Poland and Hungary are showing a perfectly united front against their European partners: as long as the conditionality mechanism between the payment of European funds and respect for the rule of law is on the table, they say. , they will put their veto on the European recovery plan of 750 billion euros and the Community budget (2021-2027) of 1,074 billion. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban repeated it on Monday evening, November 30, after meeting for a working meeting in Warsaw.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Hungary and Poland block European recovery plan

Regularly pinned down by Brussels for projects at odds with democratic values, the independence of the judiciary, minority rights or media freedom, the two leaders endeavor to stage their union. On November 26, they had already met in Budapest and took the opportunity to reaffirm their determination. “Neither Poland nor Hungary will ever accept a proposal that the other deems unacceptable”, had insisted MM. Orban and Morawiecki, to justify blocking aid to the countries most affected by the pandemic.

Solidarity with Brussels

On the rule of law, it’s a fact, Warsaw and Budapest have sealed a kind of pact with Brussels. A procedure known as “article 7”, which aims in principle to sanction (until the withdrawal of their voting rights) countries which do not respect the values ​​of the European Union (EU), was initiated against Poland in December 2017, another against Hungary in September 2018. But, as long as the two governments are united, they will have, in reality, no chance of success. By virtue of the unanimity rule, all the Member States (except the one concerned) must in fact consent to it.

“When you see the positions of Poland and Hungary on migration, the climate, the rule of law, the budget, that makes a lot of subjects on which they have difficulties. Let’s ask them what they want to do with this EU! “, quips a diplomat. Who thus sends the message that the stimulus plan could, after all, be done at twenty-five, without the two rebels, quick to brandish their sovereignty.

Also read the analysis: From the European definition of the rule of law

Even if this threat, also brandished by other officials, including Clément Beaune, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, remains at this stage purely tactical, it suggests that Poland and Hungary are, to a certain extent, way, apart within the EU.

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