January 18, 2021

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Poland and Hungary agree on a new EU budget proposal, now Rutte | NOW

Poland and Hungary agree on a new EU budget proposal, now Rutte | NOW

A new proposal for the EU budget can count on provisional approval from Hungary and Poland. Both Eastern European countries recently voted against previous budget proposals and were therefore diametrically opposed to several other EU member states. These Member States, including the Netherlands, have yet to take a decision on the new proposal.

This affects the EU budget for the coming years of 1.8 trillion euros. This also includes 750 billion euros in emergency aid due to the corona crisis. However, this support comes with rules for a free press and an independent judiciary.

This association met opposition from Poles and Hungarians who do not want the support they receive to be bound by such rules. The Member States refer to these as internal matters in which Brussels should not interfere.

Germany recently tabled a new proposal to both countries that can be approved, a Polish government official said on Wednesday. An EU official also reported that Poland and Hungary can live with the new proposal. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Tuesday that there was a good chance of an agreement this week.

On Wednesday it should become clear whether the Netherlands and their supporters agree. The aim is to reach an agreement before the European Council on Thursday. Exactly what the new proposal looks like has not yet been published.

An agreement is needed quickly so that the EU budget comes into force on January 1st and preparations can begin to replenish the almost € 700 billion recovery fund. The European Commission will borrow money for this in the financial markets.

EU President Charles Michel wrote in his invitation to EU heads of state and government on Wednesday that he was “confident” about the prospect of an agreement.