Hungary on EU's Polish Sanctions: Forget It, We'll Block It All

  • Premier Orban vows to form road block against Polish penalties
  • Hungary to defend right to EU aid without conditions: Orban

The European Union should drop plans to discipline Poland for failing to uphold democratic values because Hungary will use its right to block the procedure, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Friday.

“It’s not even worth starting the process against Poland as there’s no chance to carry it through,” Orban said in an interview with state-run Kossuth radio. “Hungary will be there and form a road block they can’t get around.”

The European Commission has said that actions by the government in Warsaw posed a threat to the rule of law and recommended that member states trigger Article 7 of the EU treaty. While Orban’s critics say Poland is following many of the steps he pioneered in building his “illiberal state” since 2010, including in the judiciary and media, so far Hungary has avoided harsher EU penalties.

Imposing sanctions needs unanimous support from the leaders of the EU’s other 27 countries and the process may play an important role when EU members begin negotiating aid allotments for the 2021-2027 budget cycle, where Hungary may have less recourse to a veto. Both countries also face separate legal action by the EU on matters ranging from the treatment of civil groups to environmental policy.

Hungary will defend its right to keep receiving EU aid that’s supporting economic convergence with the euro area, without political conditions such as on the rule of law, Orban said.

— With assistance by Marton Eder

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