BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said Thursday that the veto on the EU budget and coronavirus rescue plan exercised by Hungary and Poland is “negative for the whole EU”.
“Blocking the adoption of a decision on the recovery plan negatively affects the whole EU, including the citizens of Hungary and Poland,” Orban told AFP in an exclusive interview.
Hungary and Poland, both accused by Brussels of rolling back democratic freedoms, are opposed to the EU’s plans to tie funding to criteria on rule of law.
“It’s in everyone’s interest, including every Hungarian citizen, that the recovery plan is adopted as soon as possible, because every Hungarian will benefit, along with every citizen of other countries,” Orban said.
An EU videoconference summit, due to begin at 6 pm (1700 GMT), is expected to be dominated by the row.
Romania has said it is in favour of a rule-of-law oversight mechanism.
“The message I have relayed is simple, namely that respect for rule of law standards is a guarantee for every taxpayer that money will be spent correctly, in the public interest,” Orban said.
He said he was confident a deal could still be reached.
“I believe that we will reach an agreement as soon as possible which will conform to the prevailing view within the EU; namely that there has to conditionality linked to the respect for rule of law,” he said.
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