Hungary, Poland reject linking EU payouts to rule of law

km_468The prime ministers of Hungary and Poland said they reject a proposal that would tie European Union funding to rule of law criteria at a joint press conference in Budapest on Thursday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the rule of law criteria are not „legal” but „political”. The proposal on the table is „not rule of law but rule of majority”, he added.

Mr Orban said he and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, had put together a joint statement and read out the last sentence: „We will unify our principles and our interests on this question. Hungary will not accept a proposal that is not acceptable to Poland”.

Addressing EU member states and the media who suggest that Hungary’s veto of the next EU budget and recovery fund was „somehow inappropriate”, Mr Orban stressed that the veto is „a legal tool” allowed by the EU Treaties, adding that he has an obligation to use that tool if a decision runs against the interests of Hungary.

Mr Orban acknowledged that Hungary does not see eye to eye with the majority of member states on issues such as migration, national sovereignty and gender.

 „I cannot subject Hungary to a situation in which a simple majority can force upon the Hungarian people something that they do not want,” he said.