The results of the Council summit have considerable consequences for the EU’s ability to act. In the short term, billions are at stake and the reaction to one of the biggest economic crises ever. In the long term it is a question of whether the EU is held together by common values or whether it allows itself to be blackmailed by autocrats.
Rasmus Andresen, spokesperson on budget policy of the Greens/EFA and parliamentary negotiator for the EU budget package, explains: “Orban’s blackmail attempts must not be successful.
Now Chancellor Merkel’s leadership and steadfastness is needed. The dispute over the EU budget and the rule of law mechanism is only superficially a dispute over billions. In fact, it is about the EU’s fundamental ability to act. If Orban’s blackmail attempts are successful, the EU will be incapable of action for years to come. Blackmailing clear majorities because of dissatisfaction with their own negotiation defeats would become a standard instrument. Chancellor Merkel should not make this mistake. Orban and Morawiecki must give in without the Council reopening the deal on the rule of law mechanism. Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki must be clear that the EU will not wait for them.
“If there is no agreement on the rule of law mechanism and the EU budget, we expect that the German Presidency of the Council will immediately put the rule of law mechanism to the vote with the necessary majority and forward the decision to the European Parliament on Friday. We want to adopt the agreed rule of law mechanism in the plenary session next week. There is no reason to delay this procedure.
“Chancellor Merkel, clear the way for the vote! We demand that alternatives be prepared for the Covid budget package. It is important that Polish and Hungarian municipalities have the opportunity to become part of the Covid package. The European Parliament, on Green initiative in the Recovery Package, calls for at least 10% of the funds to be paid directly to regions. Council and Commission block. We must strengthen the democratic forces in Hungary and Poland.”