The European Union is in turmoil after Poland and Hungary halted the coronavirus relief plan

The European Union is in turmoil after Poland and Hungary halted the coronavirus relief plan

The states opposed a provision linking aid to respect for democratic norms.

The European Union plunged into a political crisis on Monday when two countries banned its membership Corona Virus The recovery plan after objections to a provision requiring economic assistance for the state’s respect for democratic standards.

The historic relief package of 750 billion euros (or $ 888 billion), which is part of the total EU budget of $ 2.1 trillion, will distribute the money to the organization’s 27 member states.

Germany’s ambassador to the European Union, Michael Klaus, who chaired Monday’s meeting where Hungary and Poland objected to the budget agreement, told the BBC mentioned.

“It is important that the entire package is now adopted quickly, otherwise the European Union will face a serious crisis,” he added.

Over the past decade, Hungary and Poland have faced international scrutiny for political encroachment on the media and justice systems. Both countries are still under Investigation By the European Union for violating its established democratic rules.

Melissa Hooper, director of the human rights and civil society program at Human Rights First, told ABC News that it is not surprising that Poland and Hungary block a budget linked to dedication allocations. Respect for the rule of law.

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“It is a messaging tool that they are trying to deliver to the European Union, and they don’t want the European Union to interfere with their internal procedures or internal policy making with regard to their judiciary, regarding the way they deal with the media – basically,” she said.

The two member states expressed their clear opposition to the plan before Monday’s vote on the budget with a spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Twitter“We cannot support the plan in its current form to link rule of law standards with budget decisions.”

Poland described the provisions of the democratic rules as an “excuse” to give the European Union authorities more power over the country’s affairs. “It’s really about institutional and political enslavement. For a radical restriction of sovereignty,” Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro He said Monday at a press conference.

Although Hungary and Poland use their veto power against the EU budget, both countries depend heavily on the bloc’s economic resources. In 2018, Spent the European Union Approximately $ 7.5 billion is in Hungary, which equates to roughly 5% of the country’s GDP. In the same year, Poland Received More than 19 billion dollars from the European Union, or nearly 3.5% of its GDP.

While member states of the European Union are in desperate need of the organization’s funds to fund their recovery from the Coronavirus, many national leaders have emphasized the importance of linking respect for rule of law provisions to the budget.

“Adherence to the principles of the rule of law is an absolute necessity,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference after the vote.

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Hopper also praised the European Union for linking economic aid to the rule of law clause in the budget, saying the organization had “lagged” in confronting Hungary and Poland over their alleged undermining of democratic norms.

“I think they should have done it a long time ago. I think the way they’re doing it is really really smart because the way it’s supposed to function is that every country is going to have a rule of law review. That’s not,” she told ABC News. It’s a punishment for those countries that behave badly. It’s supposed to be kind of like a health check. “

Nevertheless, Hopper said the United States and the outgoing Trump administration have taken on some responsibility in encouraging the current impasse in the European Union.

Basically, what [Hungary and Poland] They say with this veto, “We don’t like the rule of law. If you want to make sure that the rule of law works in our country, we don’t want to play.”

“ And I think that the United States government under the Trump administration encouraged this position, unfortunately, with personal relations between the President, Orban and President W. [Polish] Government. “Unfortunately, I think the United States can bear some of the blame for encouraging this internal conflict within the European Union,” she added.

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