Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

EU opens accession talks with Ukraine

December 16th, 2023

As PM Orbán refrained from vetoing the decision on starting talks over Ukraine’s future EU membership, a pro-government commentator believes Hungary leaves the EU summit with a positive balance.

Prime Minister Orbán walked out of the European Union summit while the remaining 26 leaders voted to launch negotiations with Ukraine on its accession to the bloc. His gesture, Mr Orbán said afterwards, meant that Hungary was not taking responsibility for what he deemed a mistaken decision. He added that Ukraine’s actual membership can be blocked at several stages in the future. During the late-night session, he vetoed the plan to extend 50 billion Euros in aid to Ukraine over the next four years. This issue will be reconsidered at the next summit in February 2024.

On the Mandiner website, Mátyás Kohán suggests that on aggregate, Hungary achieved more at the summit than she conceded. Not vetoing Ukraine’s accession talks, he writes, was admittedly a concession by the Hungarian side. Meanwhile, he continues, just before the summit, a third of the suspended EU payments to Hungary were unblocked (see BudaPost, December 15). In addition, days before the meeting, Ukraine speedily revised the law banning the use of minority languages from the public sphere and banning teaching in languages other than Ukrainian for children above 10 years of age (see BudaPost, December 12). In another significant gesture, the recently removed headmaster of the Hungarian school in Mukachevo was reinstated to his post. Kohán thinks those positive changes are undoubtedly related to Hungary’s firm stand concerning Ukraine’s future EU membership.




Tags: , ,