Wed. Jan 20th, 2021

The initial objective of the virtual summit held this Thursday from six in the afternoon by the leaders of the European Union was to only take stock of the coronavirus pandemic .

The veto of Poland and Hungary to the bazooka of 1.8 trillion euros, which form the recovery plan and the budgetary framework 2021-2027 to protest the mechanism linking European funds to respect for the rule of law, has disrupted plans and forced to reopen a discussion that the vast majority considered closed.

The chances of finding a solution this Thursday are nil and concern about paralysis grows in the arrival of European aid and the drift in which Warsaw and Budapest have embarked.

“In Brussels today only countries that allow immigrants to enter are seen as those that are governed by the rule of law. Those that protect their borders are not considered as countries where the rule of law prevails,” he attacked this Wednesday in a Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced .

“Any new procedure aimed at penalizing member states should only be introduced with a unanimous amendment to the treaties,” he warned in a pulse shared by his Polish colleague, Matesuz Morawiecki..

“We sail against the mainstream in Brussels which has a specific vision of the EU”, and “we say a strong ‘yes’ to the EU but a strong ‘no’ to the mechanisms that punish us like children and treat Poland and others member states unevenly “, added the Pole shortly after before his parliaments.

Both capitals have a last-minute ally: Slovenia . Its prime minister, Janez Jansa , – the same one who initially declared Trump the winner in a US presidential election that he did not win – has sent a letter to the presidents of the European institutions supporting the Warsaw and Budapest thesis that the political agreement closed

A few weeks ago between the German presidency of the EU and the European Parliament, on the new conditionality, it goes against the pact closed in the European Council at the end of July insisting that only an independent judicial body can say what the rule of law is and not political decisions taken by a majority.

His representative, however, did not vote against the mechanism at the meeting of EU ambassadors last Monday – which obtained a sufficient qualified majority to continue the process – nor did he announce his intention to block the decision on own resources , necessary to that the European Commission issues debt with which to finance the recovery fund, and that Warsaw and Budapest have taken hostage.

Faced with this mined terrain, this Thursday’s virtual meeting is presented as the perfect occasion to ask Orbán and Morawiecki for explanations and to start looking for the exit door to this new mess.

“I do not think that the Council has to make a proposal, not even the current German presidency of the EU at this time. You have to ask the two capitals to explain what their real problem is because it is quite difficult to be against the procedures of the Treaty “, says a diplomat from northern Europe. “Mr. Orbán has to consider whether he wants to continue maintaining this pulse for ideological reasons. His latest statement (on immigration) are beginning to be very funny”,

“One begins to get tired that after so much effort to incorporate the needs of each other, each object of dissent becomes what we can do for that country, which, by the way, is always the same one that generates problems on all issues “, he adds, warning that blocking the July agreement will have consequences.

“Who has created the problem are Hungary and Poland and it is Hungary and Poland who have to solve it,” insists the same voice. The reality is that after many months of negotiations

There is a political agreement to link the disbursement of aid to respect for the rule of law and “it is the red line we have,” other sources point out about a mechanism that the European Parliament has also said loud and clear that it does not intend to modify. “We will not make new concessions,” the conference of presidents, which represents all political groups, warned on Wednesday.

In Brussels and Berlin, meanwhile, they have begun to work on possible alternatives and options to prevent the great fund against the pandemic that some countries, including Poland and Hungary, so badly need from breaking out and blocking the next EU budget.

Among them, from a political declaration that offers some type of guarantee to the two countries to a more nuclear option such as removing the recovery and resilience mechanism from the recovery fund and launching it through an intergovernmental agreement that does not require the approval of the 27 .

The French Secretary of State, Clement Beaune , confirmed on Wednesday that the EU is looking for ” practical solutions ” to solve the problem that could go through “technical clarifications” but if necessary and “as a last resort” they do not rule out the nuclear option of separating the recovery mechanism.

“If necessary, we will examine as a last resort how to move forward without the blocking countries because Europe cannot be held hostage by a number of governments that do not want to advance or respect the essential link of our political project,” he warned before the French Senate.

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