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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Poland and Hungary Veto EU’s Seven-Year Budget Plan

Poland and Hungary vetoed the European Union’s seven-year budget plan, including a COVID-19 recovery package, last Nov. 16 over rule-of-law issue.

Poland and Hungary vetoed the European Union’s seven-year budget plan, including a COVID-19 recovery package, last Nov. 16 over rule-of-law issue.

Poland and Hungary blocked the approval of the EU’s €1.8 trillion ($2.1 trillion) budget plan, which includes a €750 billion ($889 billion) COVID-19 economic recovery fund, due to a new rule-of-law mechanism perceived as eroding democratic standards and that could cause the two countries to lose EU money.

“We cannot support the plan in its present form to tie rule-of-law criteria to budget decisions,” Hungary’s International Spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated.

Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said that there will be “no consent to this mechanism” because it is “an institutional, political enslavement, a radical limitation of sovereignty.”

Without the unanimous vote from all its 27 members, the EU cannot pass the budget plan.

Set to begin on Jan. 1, the budget may likely be delayed due to the veto.

EU leaders are set to hold a videoconference meeting on Nov. 19 to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, but may now focus on resolving the budget plan to reach the necessary unanimity vote.

“It is urgent that the budget agreement and the various normative documents are approved,” Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said.

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