Hungary is against the idea of making the upcoming pan-European stimulus conditional on respect for the Union’s democratic values - an opinion that could cause further tension in relations with European partners.
Some European governments, mostly French officials, argue that countries challenging European democratic values should not receive funding from the EU budget, a common basket supporting projects throughout the region. This issue is now at the forefront of discussions in the EU, as 27 capitals agree on the distribution of the next budget.
“The rule of law procedure is too general, and I fear for politicization. Therefore, we would not want to include this element, because, I am afraid, this will lead to endless political debate, ”Gabor Gion stated. Street Sign Europe told CNBC on Wednesday.
Hungary was under investigation since 2018 for a potential “serious violation” of European Union values. In accordance with European lawit is respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. The Hungarian government rejected such concerns, and this problem caused a split between the 27 EU leaders.
The representative of the European Commission, the institution responsible for monitoring compliance with the EU treaties, said: “The Commission has already shown that it intends to use all the tools at its disposal to solve problems arising from certain measures taken by the Council. Hungarian authorities. “
“In particular, the Commission has initiated a series of legal proceedings against Hungary. They relate to the rights of civil society organizations, academic freedom and the rights of migrants and asylum seekers, ”the representative said in an email on Wednesday.
Regarding the next EU budget, Gion argued that time is of the essence because it will mitigate the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We agreed with the (European) Commission that the funds should be distributed quickly and quickly, and if we introduce substantive conditioning, this will kill the original intention,” he added.
Different obstacles to a new stimulus
However, this is only one of many obstacles that Member States must overcome before allocating new funds.
In addition to conditions, European leaders did not agree on what form payments should take, how long they should be available and, more importantly, who would receive the largest share.
“We have some concerns about the distribution method. We have some concerns that keys, distribution keys include certain measures and criteria that are not related to the pandemic itself, ”Gion told CNBC.
The current proposal offers a formula that takes into account the population, GDP (gross domestic product) per capita and unemployment. However, different countries claim that the data is backward and does not reflect the real impact of Covid-19.
27 leaders will hold their first talks on a new budget and EU recovery fund on Friday morning.
In a letter to Member States, President of the European Council Charles Michel, who will chair the meeting, said that this would be a “decisive step” towards an agreement.