‘Reason triumphs’, ‘Hungarian money defended’ at Brussels summit – Orban

ob_Prime Minister Viktor Orban said „reason triumphed” and „Hungarian money was defended” at a summit in Brussels on Thursday where European Union leaders debated attaching conditions to payouts from the EU budget and recovery fund.

In a video message on his Facebook page, Mr Orban said everybody at the negotiations had „played their last card” and that „reason triumphed”.

„We achieved three things. We defended the European Treaties…we eliminated the danger of using fiscal instruments to force decisions on Hungary that it does not want to take or accept, and we defended the Hungarian money that will support economic development in the coming years,” he said.

„We won because in difficult times, during the pandemic and the economic crisis, there is no time for political and ideological debates that disadvantage us from taking action,” Mr Orban said.

„With this decision, we successfully preserve the unity of Europe,” he added.

He said that „everybody acknowledges that just one phase has been closed” and a number of proposals are still on the table that „will not please a number of member states, Hungary included”, such as those on migration and „anti-family measures planned by Brussels”.

Arriving at the summit earlier on Thursday, Mr Orban had said a consensus on the debate over conditionality was close.

„We are just one inch from reaching a consensus,” Mr Orban said in a doorstep statement.

Hungary and Poland had earlier vetoed the next EU budget and recovery fund over a proposed mechanism that would link payouts to observance of the rule of law.

Mr Orban and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki said in a joint declaration issued late in November that the proposed rule-of-law conditionality mechanism would „undermine the Rule of Law within the Union by degrading it to a political instrument”.