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Andreas Kluth

The Big Question: Can the EU Remain a Community of Democracies?

A Q&A with historian Timothy Garton Ash on the roots of populist discontent in Hungary and Poland and the threat it poses to the future of the European Union. 

A club in crisis.

A club in crisis.

Photographer: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This is one of a series of interviews by Bloomberg Opinion columnists on how to solve today’s most pressing policy challenges. This conversation has been edited and condensed.

Andreas Kluth: This week, Hungary and Poland shook the entire European Union by vetoing the bloc’s upcoming seven-year budget and its attached Covid stimulus package, worth $2 trillion altogether. The two countries object to a conditionality clause that ties the funding to member states’ adherence to democratic standards and the rule of law.