Poland has warned it could veto the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget if access to funds from Brussels is linked to respect for the rule of law.
Before leaving for Hungary, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters that his country opposed “arbitrary decisions” by EU officials.
Morawiecki said: “What legal certainty is there… if politically motivated decision-makers in Brussels can make arbitrary decisions [to the effect that] ‘although in some other country corruption is ten times worse and mafias are stealing billions of euros, but it’s Poland that will be punished because we do not like the PiS government’.”
The Polish conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have denied EU accusations of violating democratic principles and undermining the independence of their courts.
Both countries have both voiced criticism of a proposed mechanism to tie access to EU cash with the rule of law.
In December 2017, the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, took the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over contested judicial reforms.
Most Poles are against the idea of linking access to EU funds to respect for the rule of law, a recent survey has found.
More to follow