European Union diplomats puzzled over how to proceed on budget deadlock

Merkel Speaks Following Virtual Meeting With European Council

The wording on conditionality in the political agreement accompanying the package was watered down on the insistence of Hungary and Poland.

However, he said in practice it would be hard because leaders considered them together in July, and there could be several member states which would find it unacceptable that the recovery fund takes effect, while the future of the budget is uncertain.

Speaking at a meeting of European Union agriculture and fisheries ministers yesterday (Monday, November 16), held via video-conference, Minister McConalogue said: "The agri-food sector is still significantly affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is also facing into the eye of the storm as the end of the Brexit transition period looms".

The two Eastern European countries say they're vetoing the budget and coronavirus recovery plan over language in the measure that would dole out EU funds to member states on condition they uphold the bloc's rule-of-law standards. The EU has launched a procedure against Hungary for violating democratic norms.

He wrote to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel saying he would veto the budget and post-pandemic relief package.

In an impassioned speech in the Polish parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended his country's decision.

"The question is whether Poland. will be subject to political and institutionalised enslavement", Ziobro said.

"Because this is not rule of law, which is just a pre-text, but it is really an institutional, political enslavement, a radical limitation of sovereignty".

Another suggested that Mr Orban was perhaps looking for more money and might be persuadable.

He added that Hungary had accepted the recovery fund and long-term budget package in July "because we are committed to European solidarity and support financial aid to the states that need it as quickly as possible".

"Hungary, in fact, is a dedicated follower of the rule of law".

Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said Spain also supported the clauses.



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