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More on rule of law conditionality of rescue funds

July 17th, 2020

As Parliament instructs the government to veto making access to Covid rescue funds dependent on rule of law compliance, opinions diverge sharply on the EU’s role in influencing the domestic politics of the member states.

On Pesti Srácok, ‘Paranoid Android’ (a pen name) interprets the idea of making EU funds conditional on compliance with rule of law criteria as a pretext for an attempt to subdue nations which elected sovereignist governments. He accuses western powers of interfering with elections in Poland and Hungary by financing liberal-minded NGOs and of trying to punish those countries when such efforts fail. He thinks ruling western political and business circles support those he calls the left-liberal heirs of the Communist Party because they readily submit to foreign interests.

On 24.hu, Nóra Hajdu, an analyst at the left-wing Idea think tank suggests that the rule of unanimity within the European Council is obsolete and should be replaced by qualified majority decision-making. The diverging interests and the high number of member countries threaten to paralyse the European Union on key issues if all decisions within the Council must be made unanimously. For the moment, she explains, there are just two countries, namely Poland and Hungary that would scuttle any attempt to reign them in by vetoing draft resolutions aimed against the other. In the future, however, Hajdu predicts, many more such stalemates can be expected, with potentially dire consequences during international crises.

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