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World EU Heading for Clash as Budget Holdouts Dig In Over Rule of Law

21:40  26 november  2020
21:40  26 november  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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The standoff has left EU officials exasperated. Under the draft rule - of - law mechanism, a qualified majority of EU member states can It must also assuage countries that are net EU contributors to the bloc’s budget , like The Netherlands. It has said the current draft, reached after months of talks, was

The European Union is no stranger to clashes and disputes. But this past week has seen not just a clash , but a clash worth €1.8 trillion. Member states Hungary and Poland have blocked the passing of the next seven-year EU budget and the bloc's Covid-19 recovery plan, this over a plan to make

(Bloomberg) -- Hungary and Poland headed toward a major clash with their European Union partners after doubling down on a veto to the bloc’s stimulus package, demanding changes that will likely face outright rejection.

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In a defiant briefing in Budapest, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, showed little sign they’d reverse objections to tying budget financing to rule-of-law standards. Brussels is investigating the two countries over democratic backsliding, making them prime candidates for cuts to funding that could top a combined 180 billion euros ($215 billion) in the coming years.

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The ambassadors had voted through the clause that made access to EU funds conditional on adherence to the rule of law , because it only required a qualified majority, the German EU presidency said. But the budget and the rescue package needed unanimous support and were then blocked by

Speaking to the European Parliament, Von der Leyen stressed that the EU 's rule that the bloc's funds can only be sent to governments that observe "We are talking here about the violations of the rule of law that are threatening the EU budget and only that," she said. "It is very difficult to imagine anybody

The battle is delaying 1.8 trillion euros of EU spending that includes the seven-year budget and a 750 billion-euro coronavirus-relief fund. The situation is becoming more urgent as a second wave of Covid-19 infections threatens to trigger a double-dip recession. The holdouts complain of infringement on their sovereignty, while net budget contributors like The Netherlands say the rule-of-law provision is the minimum needed to uphold the EU’s core values.

“The proposed conditionality circumvents the EU Treaty, applies vague definitions and ambiguous terms without clear criteria on which sanctions can be based and contains no meaningful procedural guarantees,” Orban and Moraweicki said Thursday in a joint statement. They said the plan needs “substantial modification” and reiterated their readiness to veto it in its current form.

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Speaking to the European Parliament, Von der Leyen stressed that the EU 's rule that the bloc's funds can "We are talking here about the violations of the rule of law that are threatening the EU budget and only that," she said. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum

"The European Parliament tried to link the two things retroactively, threatening to block the budget and the coronavirus aid if they were not linked to a new, undefined rule of SaaS offerings are an area of focus, going head first into the B2B2C channel while de-emphasizing the direct to consumer business.

Despite member states being desperate to access crisis-relief cash, there’s no indication they’ll agree to demands from the eastern European countries to drop the conditionality for now, allowing the budget and aid to pass.

‘Waiting Desperately’

A senior EU diplomat saw no support for reopening the conditionality mechanism in the European Parliament or in the European Council, saying Hungary and Poland are moving deeper into isolation. EU government envoys in Brussels will debate the deadlock over a non-public meeting on Friday, where the impasse in Brexit talks will also be discussed.

Under the rule-of-law mechanism, a qualified majority of EU members can approve sanctions, based on the recommendation of the EU’s executive commission, to protect the bloc’s financial interests. Those subject to penalties can appeal via the European Court of Justice.


Video: EU budget issue not about rule of law, but politics instead: Polish minister (CNBC)

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EU budget : where does the European Union spend our money? The EU budget is being pored over in Brussels right now. David Cameron is pressing for tens of billions of euros in cuts to the EU 's next seven-year budget as the price for Britain's agreement at the Brussels summit, which could run into

2 Developments in EU law . The study of law is intellectually stimulating and challenging, and can lead to a variety of interesting careers. Criminal Procedure: This course will cover regulation of law enforcement conduct during the investigation of crimes, with special emphasis on constitutional and

“That’s the place where we usually thrash out differences of opinion regarding legal texts,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament Wednesday. “And not at the expense of millions of Europeans waiting desperately for our help.”

Hungary and Poland have other concerns, however, having extended political influence over the courts and the media in recent yeas, challenging EU standards while receiving more than they pay into the budget.

Linking funding to adherence to EU values is seen as an existential threat in Budapest and Warsaw. Orban said he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel this month that signing up to conditionality was tantamount to “suicide,” the Die Zeit newspaper cited him as saying.

‘Fair Rules’

Orban on Thursday took issue with allowing a qualified majority of member states to approve financial sanctions. Hungary and Poland said the bloc could return later to the debate on enforcing democratic standards, though that would require amending its treaty, which can only be done with the agreement of all members.

With the chances of a compromise looking slim, the EU could escalate the fight by adopting rule-of-law conditions for the EU budget by a qualified majority and striking inter-governmental agreements for the 750 billion-euro coronavirus fund.

That would get around the Hungarian and Polish vetoes but leave the new 1.07 trillion-euro EU budget stuck. In that scenario, the bloc would operate under an emergency monthly budget, with the rule-of-law conditions still applying.

That prospect appeared equally unacceptable for Poland’s leader.

“We don’t need two contrary interpretations just like we don’t need a two-speed EU,” Morawiecki said. “We need an EU that’s developing on the basis of treaties and fair rules.”

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EU Signals It Can Play Financial Hardball With Budget Holdouts .
As the European Union heads for a showdown with Poland and Hungary over a threat to veto a $2.2 trillion spending package, it has signaled it can significantly cut their funding as soon as next year. © Bloomberg Viktor Orban and Angela Merkel during a news conference in February. While the EU can’t permanently deprive members of previously agreed funding in times of strain, it can prioritize spending if the new seven-year budget doesn’t take effect from January, according to a diplomat briefed on an EU legal assessment.

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