VDL is threatening to withdraw financing to Hungary and Poland as a form of retaliation against euroskeptics.
BRUSSELS is preparing to halt money to Hungary and Poland, escalating a fierce dispute over the EU’s laws and ideals.
According to reports, the European Commission is working on measures to implement new conditionality regulations that tie EU cash handouts to good behavior. The battleground is Budapest and Warsaw, but eurocrats are also looking into many other member states where rule of law transgressions could jeopardize the use of EU funding. Officials expect the first public warnings will be issued within weeks as a result of rising pressure from the European Parliament to act.
The new restrictions were the subject of tense negotiations late last year, with Poland and Hungary threatening to block the EU’s seven-year budget, which included the £689 billion coronavirus recovery fund.
MEPs have been putting increasing pressure on the Commission to use the new system to prosecute accused rule-breakers.
The adoption of Poland’s and Hungary’s Covid expenditure plans has been postponed while officials consider what action to take against them.
Warsaw’s approach might be approved as early as November, according to Eurocrats, but only if its eurosceptic administration agrees to legally binding measures to restore the rule of law.
This would allow the EU to provide Poland with over £21 billion in non-repayable payments to aid its economic recovery following the pandemic.
Top eurocrats, on the other hand, are fearful of any potential retaliation hurting the bloc’s image in Poland.
“Whatever I do in Poland, I keep in mind that at least half of the public is in favor of EU ideals,” Commission vice-president Vera Jourova told the Politico news website.
She stated unequivocally that Brussels does not intend to punish Polish citizens for the acts of Warsaw’s right-wing administration.
“Brussels did not cause this conundrum,” he stressed.
“It’s a domestic creation with domestic political implications,” says the narrator.
“The preparations to trigger the rule of law conditionality are too advanced for us not to employ them,” Ms Jourova continued.
“The train is moving at a rapid rate and is unable to be halted.”
The Commission is expected to initiate the steps before the EU Parliament’s budgetary control committee meets on October 25.
“Brinkwire Summary News” describes previous attempts to punish Poland and Hungary using EU Article 7 sanctions.