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English Section

Polish, Hungarian PMs meet in Warsaw amid tensions over EU budget

30.11.2020 23:22
The Polish and Hungarian prime ministers met in Warsaw on Monday evening to “coordinate positions” over a proposed link between EU funds and the rule of law that is opposed by both countries.
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Polish government spokesman Piotr Müller said the talks between Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki, their second meeting in five days, lasted one-and-a-half hours.

Müller told reporters the two leaders discussed issues including “the coordination of positions” between Poland and Hungary amid ongoing budget negotiations in the 27-nation EU, of which the two countries have been members since 2004.

Warsaw and Budapest have both threatened to veto the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget, voicing criticism of a proposed mechanism to tie access to EU funds to respect for the rule of law.

Both countries deny EU accusations of violating democratic principles and undermining the independence of their courts.

Müller said on Monday evening: “Various options regarding a possible agreement were considered today, but we are still waiting for proposals from the German presidency” of the EU.

Müller added that Morawiecki would take part in a video conference on Tuesday morning with European Council President Charles Michel and several prime ministers.

After holding talks with Orban in Budapest last Thursday, Morawiecki warned that the proposal to tie access to cash from Brussels with the rule of law could lead to the EU breaking up.

On Friday, after telephone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Polish prime minister said he had confirmed Warsaw’s “readiness to veto the new budget if we do not find a solution that is good for the entire EU, and not only for some of its members."

Morawiecki earlier this month told EU leaders his country opposed the use of “non-objective criteria” to decide how much cash member states receive from Brussels.

A Polish conservative Euro-MP has claimed that European officials have concealed an inconvenient legal opinion about the proposed new mechanism.

(pk)

Source: PAP