EU Confident Will Find Solution To Budget Blockage, Recovery Fund
The German presidency of the European Union expressed confidence on Tuesday it would find a solution to the blockage by Poland and Hungary of the EU's 1.8 trillion euros financial package needed to revive an economy depressed by the COVID pandemic.
- Last Updated: November 17, 2020, 16:45 IST
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BRUSSELS: The German presidency of the European Union expressed confidence on Tuesday it would find a solution to the blockage by Poland and Hungary of the EU’s 1.8 trillion euros financial package needed to revive an economy depressed by the COVID pandemic.
“There is so much money involved which so many countries in the European Union need and are waiting for, that we not only need a solution but we need it quickly,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency. “I am sure that we will be able to do that.”
French Europe Minister Clement Beaune was also confident saying on Monday: “A solution will be found in the coming weeks, France is fully involved to find one.”
German Europe minister Michael Roth called on the two countries on Tuesday to act responsibly in the face of the economic slump caused by the pandemic.
“It is not the time for vetoes but for acting swiftly and in the spirit of solidarity,” Roth said ahead of a video conference with his EU counterparts.
Budapest and Warsaw on Monday vetoed the adoption of the 1.1 trillion euro 2021-2027 EU budget and the 750 billion recovery fund because the budget law included a clause which makes access to money conditional on respecting the rule of law.
Because both the budget and the recovery fund require unanimous support of all of the EU’s 27 countries, without the consent of Poland and Hungary no EU country will get any budget or recovery money in the coming years, including Poland and Hungary themselves, who are both net beneficiaries of EU funds.
The nationalist governments in Budapest and Warsaw are against that because they are under a formal EU process investigating them for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations.
If the link is introduced, both countries risk losing access to tens of billions of euros in EU funds. But a large group of countries led by the Netherlands as well as the European Parliament want an even stronger link and refuse not approve the budget without it.
“We are awaiting new proposals that will be coherent with EU treaties and secondly, will be in line with the conclusions of the European Council (decisions) from July, when the EU budget was agreed,” Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller told state radio.
(Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold, Kirsti Knolle in Berlin and Marcin Goclowski and Pawel Florkiewicz in Warsaw; Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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