German EU presidency should formulate budget proposal that can achieve consensus

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Germany, holding the revolving presidency of the European Union, should come up with a solution to the current budget crisis that can receive the approval of all member states, said Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in Mrosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş), Romania, on Wednesday, Romanian news agency Agerpres reports .
“This was our position from the outset, and no one should be surprised. That is why the German Presidency of the European Union must find a way out of this situation and formulate a proposal that will be accepted by consensus,” Szijjártó said. “With regard to the budget of the European Union for the next seven years, and with regard to the economic recovery plan of the European Union, respectively, in terms of the use of funds for these, I would like to tell you the following: Brussels must let go of the misleading perception it uses to create the false image that European resources are coming from the good will of our friends in Western Europe or as if they were humanitarian donations for Central Europe.”
Szijjártó pointed out that those funds — regardless of which country’s budget they come from — are the common result of European economies and not mercy handouts from Western member states.
“They were created as a result of the common economy of the European Union, in which Romania, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all participate, as well as the citizens of Western Europe,” Szijjártó said, adding that these European resources are equally due to both Hungary and Romania, because “we have all contributed to them.”
“And for this reason, a subjective criterion […] to be a condition for obtaining these funds is unacceptable to us. But not only is it unacceptable, we also consider it contrary to European values ​​and European treaties,” said Peter Szijjarto.
In a preliminary vote at last week’s meeting of the permanent representatives of the EU states, Poland and Hungary implemented their intention to veto the EU’s multi-annual budget for the period 2021-2027 (€1.074 billion) and the “Next Generation” recovery fund (€750 billion), if the agreement reached earlier this month between the European Parliament and the German presidency of the EU Council on the introduction of the conditionality criterion is adopted.
This agreement, adopted at that meeting by qualified majority, provides that, at the proposal of the European Commission and with the approval of a qualified majority of member states, European funds may be suspended if member states are suspected of violating the rule of law, a mechanism considered by both the Polish and Hungarian governments to be an arbitrary instrument based on political and ideological criteria.
Meanwhile, a meeting of the member states’ EU ambassadors on Wednesday failed to find a solution to the impasse. Even worse, the German presidency now has another potential veto to contend with: France has warned that it would veto a Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom if the terms are not to their liking.
Title image: Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureş in Romanian). (MTI/Gábor Kiss)

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