Prime ministers Morawiecki (left) and Viktor Orbán – Photo: MTI

In case of a violation, the Commission will need to prove that it has negatively affected the EU budget

Orbán, Morawiecki in agreement with Merkel concerning EU budget

Hungary and Poland have achieved a "great victory" in the debate concerning the European Union's budget, news portal Origo said late on Wednesday. According to the portal, Angela Merkel, the chancellor of EU president Germany, has accepted the conditions set by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki. The agreement "eliminates an opportunity to punish countries on foggy political conditions especially with regard to issues around migration and the gender ideology".

Under the draft agreement, the national sovereignty of member states, including their fundamental political and constitutional structure, as well as aspects of objectivity and equal treatment, and the prohibition of negative discrimination must be given a special focus when drafting the general conditions aimed at protecting the community budget, Origo said.

The draft of the agreement also stipulates that a methodology for applying the final decree should be laid out in guidelines prepared by the European Commission in close cooperation with member states. The guidelines could be appealed against by any member before the Court of Justice of the EU, the portal said.

The EU’s procedures must be proportionate with the impact of possible violations on the community’s budget, and a clear cause and effect relationship must be shown between the violation and negative impacts on the EU’s financial interests; it is not enough for the Commission to say that the rule of law has been harmed, it will need to prove that it has negatively affected the EU budget, Origo said.

A list of cases should be prepared in which a procedure can be launched and the list, once accepted, must not be extended. The list must contain concrete cases rather than general deficiencies. Before launching a procedure, the Commission must start a dialogue with the member facilitating correction of deficiencies. The Commission should make it clear if the information serving the basis for a procedure comes from a third party. “It is clear that this point is aimed at making the influence of Soros-organisations transparent, preventing [US financer George] Soros and his people from lobbying in secret,” the portal said.

Under the draft agreement, all approved measures must be reviewed within twelve months and if the Commission decides against withdrawing them then a reason must be provided. On request by the affected country, the European Council must include the issue on its agenda and seek a consensus.

According to Origo, Hungary and Poland will “force Brussels to respect the treaties, the sovereignty, national identity, and competencies of member states”. The portal added that the agreement had a legal relevance because “it will be included in the minutes when the European Council adopts its decree, while it also reflects a strong political commitment and it cannot be overlooked by any political player”.

Szijjarto: Hungary ‘won’ in EU budget debate

Hungary has “won” the debate on the European Union’s budget as access to EU funding will not be tied to political or ideological conditions, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a video message. “We have won because we fought for the national interest,” Szijjarto said, adding that otherwise “Brussels would have decided that we must accept illegal migrants or be stripped of EU monies.”

The Hungarian government has prevented that development and “will continue to do so in the future,” Szijjarto said on Facebook.

Justice Minister Judit Varga said it had been proven that “it is worth fighting for Hungary’s interests always and in every situation”.

“It has ben worth fighting so that (EU) subsidies are not tied to ideological requirements amid a pandemic,” Varga said on Facebook.

According to Varga, the agreement is in line with the EU treaties, “it respects our national identity and provides protection against political blackmail”.

“We have won! The friendship of Poland and Hungary has won!” she said.

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