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Hungary and Poland defiant over rule of law criteria

November 28th, 2020

A pro-government and a liberal commentator both find it unlikely that the EU can broker a deal with Hungary and Poland on rule of law conditionality. They also agree that the debate will determine the future of the EU.

In a joint statement after their meeting in Budapest, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Polish PM Mateusz Morawieczki announced that they cannot accept the EU’s rule of law conditionality, and are ready to block the EU recovery fund and the next EU budget. The two Prime Ministers proposed that EU decisions on rule of law conditions should be postponed until after the approval of the EU budget, and also that the currently vague rule of law conditionality could only be defined by a renewal of EU treaties, which would require the unanimous support of each member state.

Magyar Nemzet’s László Néző finds it uplifting that the Hungarian and the Polish Prime Ministers are putting up a fight against “Brussels and Soros”. The pro-government columnist accuses the “Soros faction of the European Parliament” of trying to punish and break Hungary for defending its sovereignty and Christianity. In Néző’s interpretation, the dispute between the two Central European governments and the EU is a battle for the future of the Europe: Poland and Hungary oppose the creation of “a stupid, globalist swamp called the United States of Europe”.

On 444, Péter Magyari doubts that there is a way to broker a compromise that would be acceptable for all parties. The liberal commentator contends that the Hungarian and Polish suggestion that the whole debate on law and conditionality be postponed until after the approval of the budget is unlikely to be supported by the EU. Magyari also believes that the dispute will determine the future of the EU. He thinks that Hungary and Poland want to introduce an illiberal and autocratic form of governance, which the EU can neither tolerate nor finance.

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