Hungary and Poland on Monday vetoed the European Union’s 2021-27 budget at the ambassadors meeting in Brussels due to a dispute over a “rule of law” condition.
“EU Ambassadors could not reach the necessary unanimity for initiating the written procedure due to reservations expressed by two member states,” Sebastian Fischer, the spokesman for the German presidency of the EU, tweeted.
Hungarian and Polish officials earlier warned they would vote against the clause that links the access to EU funding with adherence to the rule of law.
The EU needs a consensus of all 27 member states to pass the financial package that also covers coronavirus recovery fund.
EU leaders on July 21 agreed on spending €1.82 trillion ($2.08 trillion) for the period of 2021-27, which includes the €750 billion ($857 billion) recovery instrument to help relaunch the European economy after the COVID-19 crisis.
Lawmakers also asked for a stronger rule of law conditionality, implying that EU budget transfers could be suspended or stopped if a member state system proves to have deficiencies – such as uninvestigated corruption or compromised judicial independence – which might affect the bloc’s financial interests.
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