Hungary, Poland block 2021-2027 EU budget, recovery package

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Hungary and Poland blocked on Monday the adoption of the 2021-2027 budget and recovery fund by European Union governments because the budget law included a clause which makes access to money conditional on respecting the rule of law.

Ambassadors of EU governments at a meeting in Brussels were to endorse a compromise reached on the 1.8 trillion package with the European Parliament, but could not do that because of the veto from Warsaw and Budapest.

The German EU presidency said ambassadors did vote through the link between EU money and the respect for the rule of law, because this vote required only a qualified majority and the opposition of Warsaw and Budapest could not stop it. But when it came to voting on the 1.1 trillion euro budget itself and the 750 billion euro recovery package, which require unanimous support, “two EU member states expressed reservations” the presidency said.

The Polish and Hungarian veto will now be discussed at a meeting of EU European affairs ministers on Tuesday and then at a video-conference of EU leaders on Thursday. But finding a solution might take longer than that, officials said.

On November 10, the German presidency of the Council reached a political agreement with the European Parliament’s negotiators in talks aimed at securing the Parliament’s consent to the next multiannual financial framework, the EU’s long-term budget. It complements the comprehensive financial package of €1 824.3 billion negotiated by EU leaders in July, which combines the next multiannual financial framework – €1 074.3 billion – and a €750 billion temporary recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (in 2018 prices).

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