“This is not a time for vetoes, but rather to act quickly and in a spirit of solidarity” because otherwise it will be the European citizens who “will pay a high price for the blockade.” The call for “responsibility” from the German Minister for European Affairs, Michael Roth, has crashed again this Tuesday against the wall erected by Hungary and Poland that 24 hours after vetoing the recovery fund and the new EU budget, for his rejection of mechanism to condition the disbursement of European funds respecting the rule of law, they have once again reaffirmed their position.
“No one should be surprised by what happened yesterday (at the meeting of the 27 EU ambassadors). We have been warning for some time that the July agreement was a fragile compromise. Conditionality is among Poland’s top priorities and nothing is agreed until everything is. It is necessary to reach a better compromise “, the Polish minister has warned. Konrad Szymanski, during a videoconference of ministers of European Affairs in which he reiterated that the mechanism agreed between the German presidency of the EU and the European Parliament two weeks ago does not offer sufficient legal guarantees for his country.
The Hungarian Minister of Justice, Judit VargaTrue to his speech, he has gone even further. “Let’s not be hypocrites. We all know what conditionality in its current form consists of,” he snapped to the rest of his European colleagues during a public debate broadcast by the Council. In the opinion of the government that leads Viktor Orbán, The new instrument, which has received the endorsement of 26 of the 28 member states and the negotiators of the European Parliament, has one purpose and is to allow Brussels to easily “sanction” the member states on the basis of “arbitrary measures” and under a procedure “without” guarantees.
“How can they expect us to pass a proposal like this? We are not in a political system in which one can be sanctioned for political discrepancies.” This is not the time for ideological games“Varga has warned. Berlin’s reaction to Budapest’s words has been overwhelming.” The rule of law is not an ideology. Europe is based on democracy. We are all democratic societies and the treaties contain certain values and compliance rules for all of us. Comparing the EU to dictatorships or authoritarian regimes is unacceptable“Roth has lashed out.
Germany has once again urged both capitals to open “a reflection process“because among those affected by the blockade there are also Hungarian and Polish citizens.” It is not just a question of Spain, Italy or France. Many billions are going to go to Poland and Hungary and their citizens deserve European solidarity “, Roth recalled at a press conference, in which he insisted that the entire budget package is the result of a compromise in which all parties have relented.
“It has been said that the compromise is fragile but what is fragile is the economic situation and the certainty we need is economic certainty,” recalled the Irish Secretary of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne. “Stopping this package would lead us to a worse crisis in the worst crisis in European history”, recalled the Slovak Martin Klus. “We are running out of time. We are in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic and on the threshold of a financial, economic and social disaster. This is not the time to be lazy,” added the Portuguese Ana Paula Zacarias.
Despite these calls for responsibility, which have also made France, Italy or Spain, the pulse remains, which will force the German presidency of the EU to seek an alternative that will foreseeably involve the Heads of State and Government of the EU. This Thursday, European leaders are meeting again by videoconference to take the pulse of the pandemic and it will be impossible to avoid this debate. “This is not the time to stop at obstacles, we must overcome them and the German presidency will make every effort to overcome these difficulties,” Roth promised.