Victor Orban writes to German presidency he is ready to veto EU budget

Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban is prepared to veto the EU budget and the recovery fund if the payment of funds to member states is tied to the rule of law, Hungary Today reported, citing the pro-government site The prime minister has written to the EU German Presidency concerning the matter, the website said on Sunday.

Orban addressed his letter also to the leaders of next year’s EU presidencies, Slovenia and Portugal, as well as to Charles Michel, the Council’s head, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president.

The prime minister pledged Hungary’s commitment to cooperation but added that the government could not guarantee approval of the recovery package adopted in July due to the compromising of Hungarian interests regarding the rule-of-law-EU-payment issue.

Sanctions on EU member states would be agreed in the European Council by a qualified majority, according to an agreement reached between the Council and the presidency. Approval of the 7-year EU budget and €750bn Next Generation EU, however, requires unanimity in the Council.

Orban noted that the Hungarian legal system has been properly scrutinized by EU authorities and all outstanding disputes had been resolved. Further, Hungary has submitted “hundreds of pages” of clarification documents over the past two years in connection with the Article 7 procedure ongoing against the country.

The prime minister insisted that the Commission’s recent report on the rule of law was based on politically motivated charges against Hungary rather than being fact-based. He added that the report was a way of interfering in the democratic electoral processes of certain countries.

Orban said the planned sanctions mechanism was based on legally vague definitions such as “violation of the rule of law”. Such hazy concepts create opportunities for political abuses and breach the requirement of legal certainty, he wrote.

Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki has also indicated his willingness to use Poland’s veto if conditions regarding EU payments fall foul of Polish expectations.

Similar articles

  • Explosion at German chemicals plant, extreme danger warning issued

    Explosion at German chemicals plant, extreme danger warning issued

    An explosion at a chemicals plant in the western German city of Leverkusen on Tuesday led to an "extreme danger" warning being issued and residents of the city on the Rhine being urged to close windows and doors, dpa reported. Leverkusen police said several people were injured. A large number of police officers were deployed at the place of incident. They closed the nearby motorway and urged residents to keep roads free for the emergency services.

  • Hungarians protest against the government for alleged use of Pegasus spyware

    Hungarians protest against the government for alleged use of Pegasus spyware

    About 1,000 Hungarians protested on Monday over allegations that the government used Israeli-made Pegasus spyware for illegal surveillance of public figures in Hungary, drawing comparisons with the country's communist past, Reuters reported. Protesters gathered at the House of Terror Museum in the capital, Budapest, which commemorates victims of Nazism and Communism, and marched to the headquarters of the governing Fidesz party. Criticising PM Viktor Orban, some chanted: "Victator."

  • Recovery fund: EU ministers approve four more national plans

    Recovery fund: EU ministers approve four more national plans

    European Union finance ministers approved on Monday the national recovery plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia, paving the way for the disbursement of EU pre-financing for projects envisaged under the schemes, news wires reported. The European Council is expected to adopt its implementing decisions on the approval of these plans by written procedure shortly after the informal ministers’ meeting held on Monday. Following the formal adoption of the decisions, this second batch of member states will be able to use the facility’s funds to foster their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.