“Today in Brussels, only those that admit migrants are considered to be in a state governed by the rule of law,” Orban said in a statement.
“Once this proposal is adopted, there will be no more obstacles to linking Member States’ share of common funds to migration support (…) in order to blackmail countries that are opposed to migration,” the Hungarian prime minister said.
“In recent years, the rule of law has turned into a political and ideological weapon in the migration-related debate,” Orbans emphasized.
“In our view, linking economic and financial issues to the political debate would be a major mistake that would undermine European unity,” the Hungarian prime minister said in a statement.
As announced, the ambassadors of the member states were expected to confirm the compromise reached with the European Parliament (EP) on the 1.8 trillion euro financial package in Brussels on Monday, but this was not possible due to the veto of Warsaw and Budapest, diplomats report.
Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said that the ambassadors had first approved a mechanism agreed with the EP to link the allocation of EU funds to the rule of law in the Member State concerned, as a qualified majority was sufficient.
But in a vote to approve a € 1.1 trillion budget and a € 750 billion economic recovery fund that requires the unanimous support of all member states, “two member states objected,” Germany said.
Diplomats confirmed that these countries are Poland and Hungary.
Both countries have repeatedly threatened to veto the EU budget and the economic recovery package, as they oppose linking the rule of law to EU funding.
The veto is likely to delay EU funding, as the next multiannual budget will start on 1 January. An EU official said that Poland and Hungary had taken the EU’s multi-annual budget hostage with this step.
A mechanism linking the rule of law to the distribution of EU funding could be triggered in cases where EU funds are wasted, such as corruption. The mechanism would link the distribution of EU funding to the independence of the judiciary, freedom, democracy, equality, respect for human rights and other fundamental rights.
It is believed that this mechanism is mainly intended to prevent the democratic decline in Poland and Hungary.
The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Hungary and Poland for non-compliance with EU democratic standards, which Brussels believes threatens the independence of the judiciary and the media.