Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has declared that Poland will oppose any unlawful attempts by EU institutions to stop EU funding for any member state, including Hungary.
Speaking while touring southern Poland, Morawiecki declared his solidarity with Hungary with regard to the issue of EU funding. According to the Polish head of government, the Hungarian government has prepared details of an agreement between it and the European Commission, which has been presented to the EU commission.
The European Commission on Sunday proposed that the European Council should approve the activation of the conditionality mechanism to suspend around €7.5 billion in EU budget funding over what the commission claims are corruption and the rule of law concerns in Hungary.
In what is shaping up to be a major event in the history of the European project, if the EU moves forward with such a funding cut, it will mark the first time that the conditionality mechanism will be used against a member state. The European Council now has a month to approve the commission’s position by a qualified majority vote. Morawiecki’s statement on the issue suggest that Poland will be opposing the European Commission’s proposal.
Morawiecki also pointed to the statement of the commissioner for the budget, Johannes Hahn, who admitted that there was no linkage of the funding conditionality mechanism and the tug of war with regard to the operational program for the EU Recovery Fund for Poland. In other words, Poland’s prime minister is claiming that the conditionality mechanism does not apply to the EU Recovery Fund, which Poland is currently seeking to unlock, as those funds remain blocked.
Hungary has already had its EU Recovery Funds blocked as well, but the €7.5 billion in additional cuts would come from the EU’s seven-year budget, and would mark a severe financial blow to Hungary.
Morawiecki said that this confirmed Poland’s view that the conditionality mechanism did not apply to the EU Recovery Fund and that therefore there was no danger of the mechanism being used against Poland since there have been no reports over impropriety regarding Poland’s use of EU funds.