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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Tying funds to rule of law could break up EU: Polish PM

26.11.2020 17:57
Poland’s prime minister warned on Thursday that a plan to tie access to funds from Brussels with respect for the rule of law could lead to the EU breaking up.
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungarys Viktor Orban address reporters in Budapest.
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungary’s Viktor Orban address reporters in Budapest. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

After holding talks with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Budapest, Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki said the planned new mechanism “due to its arbitrariness and… politically motivated decisions, may and would inevitably lead to the fragmentation of the European Union, and perhaps even the disintegration of the EU.”

Morawiecki's conservative Law and Justice government and Hungary's Orban have both denied EU accusations of violating democratic principles and undermining the independence of their courts.

Both countries staunchly oppose a proposed mechanism put forward earlier this month during the German presidency of the EU to tie access to cash from Brussels with the rule of law.

Poland has warned it could veto the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget if the mechanism is introduced.

Morawiecki flew to Budapest on Thursday for talks with Orban aiming to agree a joint negotiating strategy amid ongoing budget negotiations in the 27-nation EU, of which Poland and Hungary have been members since 2004.

‘We will fight together’

Orban said after the meeting that the two leaders had signed a joint declaration opposing the new rule-of-law mechanism.

He added: "Hungary does not accept any proposals that would be unacceptable to Poland... We will fight together.”

The Polish prime minister told reporters in the Hungarian capital that the proposed new mechanism "is extremely dangerous for the cohesion of Europe as a whole.”

He added: "It is a bad solution."

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.

(pk)

Source: PAP