Photo: MTI

Hungary, Poland reject 'what is unacceptable', Orbán says

Morawiecki: The agreement was a joint achievement of the Visegrad Group

"We have fought for our rights and rejected everything that isn't acceptable for our nations," Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a press conference held with Mateusz Morawiecki, his Polish counterpart, in Brussels late on Thursday. The European Council on Thursday night accepted the EU's budget for the 2021-2027 financial cycle and its Next Generation EU recovery fund. Regarding the rule-of-law provision in the document, the summit added a clause stating that the mechanism can only be triggered if a member state's actions harm EU financial interests.

At the press conference held at the Polish embassy in Brussels after the summit, Orbán said the debate was “not only about the rule-of-law mechanism.” “The EU’s very future was at stake.”

Orbán said that the achievements of the summit served to protect EU unity. “The agreement is a good outcome in terms of Europe’s future, because it has become obvious that the EU can only operate as a community of nations,” the prime minister said.

In the next step, the national parliaments will have to accept the agreement, Orbán said. “We have done our job as best we could,” he said.

The agreement protects the European Treaty by preventing the rule-of-law mechanism from being used for political purposes, he said.

The agreement can only be amended with an unanimous agreement of all member state leaders, he said.

Hungary will exercise its right to bring the rule-of-law mechanism before the European court to see whether it is compatible with EU law, he said.

Morawiecki said the agreement was a joint achievement of the Visegrad Group, and a signal of the four countries’ loyalty to each other. After “hard and stressful talks”, the agreement contains stronger legal guarantees regarding rule-of-law conditionality than the original draft did, he said.

Poland will also take the mechanism before European court, Morawiecki said. Whether the Polish and Hungarian suits will be brought together or separately is yet to be decided, he added.

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