In the European Union, a flurry of criticism fell on Hungary and Poland, which vetoed the EU’s draft budget for the period until 2027 — in protest against the EU’s plans to impose sanctions for violations by member countries of the rule of law. With their veto, Budapest and Warsaw also blocked the payment of billions of dollars to EU countries from the fund for economic recovery from the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. According to a number of publications, against the background of the fact that many countries, due to the deplorable economic situation, are in dire need of these funds, it may well be that the mechanism in defense of the rule of law will still be adopted. Other media outlets say that the EU is faced with a difficult dilemma: at stake are its fundamental principles.
Orban is definitely not thinking about future generations
The veto is not in Hungary’s best interests, writes Nepszava:
“The economic implications of the measures prompted by the second wave of the pandemic are very difficult to assess. And yet, there will always be eternal optimists who dream of a massive vaccination by early next year — and in this regard, hoping for economic growth in the 10 to 15 percent range. However, a prerequisite for this is the receipt of the first tranche from the EU recovery fund in the amount of 16 billion euros. … meanwhile, the Hungarian government has vetoed the EU budget, as well as payments from a recovery fund called the Next Generation of the EU. Orban and his entourage think only of themselves, not of future generations.“
We have violated and will continue to do so!
According to the Tageblatt newspaper, the intentions of Orban and Kaczynski are now clearer:
“Both national conservative governments … are unwilling to continue to adhere to the principles of democracy and the rule of law in the EU. But at the same time, they intend to continue to receive money from Brussels! … It is also clear that they do not want to be more respectful of the democratic way of making decisions in the European Union, and in this case — to the European Parliament. … Since this mechanism [in defense of the rule of law] is planned to be used only in the event of possible violations in the future, the sharp resistance and blockade from Warsaw and Budapest are a frank admission that they are hatching plans that are incompatible with the principles of democracy and the rule of law adopted in the EU. Everything indicates that these states intend to violate the law — and announce this in advance.”
It’s time for Brussels to pull the reins tighter
As the Pravda newspaper notes, sooner or later Poland and Hungary will probably back down:
“The European Union has plucked up the courage to propose that only countries that comply with all the regulations receive funds from the new fund. … Both countries are examples of how these rules are not followed. Their legislation on press freedom, women’s rights, and other issues is just a parody of the values of the European Union. … Perhaps it is time for Brussels to tighten the reins. … On the other hand, of all the EU countries, despite all their screams, it is Budapest and Warsaw that most of all need millions from Brussels. Thus, sooner or later a compromise should be expected. “
EU turns into a money distribution machine
Brussels cannot endlessly ‘buy’ consensus, writes the Neue Zurcher Zeitung:
“The particular path followed in terms of the rule of law by the ruling parties of Hungary and Poland is … a reality with which neither the EU Council nor the European Parliament can do anything. … Realizing this, it would be necessary to draw final conclusions — and in general to curtail the large-scale mechanisms for redistributing finances in the EU. … But the EU is doing something exactly the opposite. … [When creating a fund for economic recovery from the consequences of the coronavirus crisis] the unresolved issue of the rule of law was … put on the back burner — in the hope that when rivers of new money flow, sufficient negotiating potential will be formed with which it will become possible reaching any compromises. Thus, the EU is increasingly turning into a kind of money distribution machine, sharpened to ensure the viability of the community solely at the expense of constantly growing financial injections.”