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Hungary and Poland block EU budget over the rule of law controversy

November 18th, 2020

The former Hungarian EU Commissioner thinks Hungary is heading for a frontal collision with the Union.

Hungary and Poland officially confirmed on Monday that they would veto the EU budget for the next seven years as well as the coronavirus recovery fund because the other member countries approved a resolution that will make EU payments conditional on rule of law compliance. Prime Minister Orbán said as there is no commonly accepted definition of what the rule of law means, to envisage sanctions based on unspecified criteria undermines the idea of the rule of law.

In a long analysis on Index, former leading Fidesz official Tibor Navracsics, who served as Deputy Prime Minister in the early 2010s and then, until last year, as member of the European Commission, says Hungary and Poland regard the conflict as directly affecting their national identities and are ready to pay any price to protect their autonomy as member states. Nor are the initiators of rule-of law conditionality ready to compromise, Navracsics remarks and compares the conflict to a “chicken game” where two drivers rush towards each other on a collision course: one must swerve, or both may die in the crash. From Hungary’s perspective, he writes, that game can end either in full victory or in tragedy.

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