Hungary and Poland threaten veto against EU budget, Covid-19 funds
The Hungarian and Polish governments have threatened to block the European Union's next long-term budget if its partners make the disbursement of funds conditional on adherence to the 'rule of law'.
A senior official from the bloc told Reuters that a Hungarian veto against the 2021-27 €1.1trn budget and €750m Covid-19 pandemic recovery funds could create havoc, with a senior EU diplomat concurring with that view.
EU ambassadors were scheduled to meet later on Monday to discuss the budget, the sources of funds and conditions that might be attached.
Budapest and Warsaw, in particular, have been heavily criticised in recent years of undermining the independence of the judiciary, media and non-governmental organisations.
Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki reportedly sent a letter to Brussels outlining its opposition to any conditionality being attached to EU funds, followed by a similar letter from Hungarian PM, Viktor Orban, threatening with a veto.