Poland may block EU budget over rule-of-law conditionality – Official

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Poland will block the new EU budget if the disbursement of EU funds is contingent on the observance of rule of law principles, a Polish government official said on Monday.

“If the EU will want to break treaties, if the decisions made during the meeting of EU leaders are not respected, Poland will not agree to adopting the EU budget,’’ the head of the prime minister’s chancellery, Michal Dworczyk, said in an interview with radio broadcaster RMF FM radio.

The comments echo similar, though vaguer, suggestions made earlier by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Poland and Hungary vehemently oppose introducing any conditionality into budget disbursements and claimed to have blocked attempts to create one during a July EU summit.

However, negotiators from the European Parliament and representatives of EU governments struck a deal earlier this month on a mechanism that would be triggered when EU funds are misused in cases of corruption or fraud, for example.

It could also be tied to fundamental values like freedom, democracy, equality, and respect for human rights.

Warsaw has introduced a string of judicial reforms that critics argue politicize the system. Budapest is similarly under scrutiny for concerns about judicial independence, and for allegedly eroding media freedoms and for unchecked corruption due to links between business and politics.

A veto to the EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund package worth 1.8 trillion euros (2.1 trillion dollars) could delay access to much needed funds beyond the planned January start date. (dpa/NAN)

– Nov. 16, 2020 @ 12:39 GMT |

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