We fought for our rights, and said no to blackmail and everything else that is not acceptable for our nations as the dispute revolved not only around the rule of law mechanism; the future of the European Union was at stake, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stated in Brussels on Thursday.
At a press conference held at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union in Brussels, in the company of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister spoke to the press after an agreement had been reached at the summit of the European Council about the EU’s long-term budget and the attached recovery package.
In his statement, the prime minister stressed that the results achieved have a broader horizon, namely the need to protect the unity of the European Union. The agreement is a good result for the future of the European Union as it has become evident that the European Union can only function as a community of nations, Orban highlighted.
In his words, the dispute revolved not only around the rule of law mechanism; the future of the European Union was at stake. The agreement also made it clear that the European Union means a community and alliance of nations and states.
“We completed our job to the best of our abilities; it is now up to our national parliaments to discuss and adopt that which we have achieved,” he said.
He underlined that the agreement means that the European treaties have been defended, and the mechanism cannot be used for political purposes. He also highlighted the importance of the fact that the agreement reached on Thursday can only be altered with the unanimous will of the leaders of the Member States.
He further pointed out that the veto is not a means to express political aspirations, but a lawful instrument laid down in the European treaties. Orban added that Hungary will exercise its right to take the regulation on the rule of law mechanism to the Court of Justice of the European Union in order for the court to determine whether it is compatible with EU law.
“I love my country, I love my people, and if we achieve any result, it is purely down to the fact that we are motivated and have a purpose,” he said.
The Hungarian is a great nation which deserves to be treated fairly, Orban added.
Regarding the outcome, Mateusz Morawiecki said it stands in praise of the collective efforts of the Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia), and in addition to the Visegrád countries themselves, it sends a clear signal of loyalty to all European partners.
He highlighted that the agreement provides more robust legal guarantees regarding the rule of law mechanism than the version of the proposal tabled two weeks ago, before a series of difficult and tense negotiations.
The Polish Prime Minister confirmed that Poland will follow Hungary in its action to request the European court’s opinion regarding the compatibility of the mechanism with the European treaties. He said they have not yet decided whether the two countries will file separate petitions or a single one together.
“We have the right to do this, and this is what we will do,” Morawiecki added.
At the EU summit starting on Thursday which was planned to last for two days, an agreement was reached about the European Union’s next multiannual budget, the post-coronavirus-pandemic recovery fund and the rule of law mechanism tied to EU pay-outs.
According to press information, the agreement adopted by the leaders of the twenty-seven Member States will attach a clause to the regulation which lays down that the rule of law mechanism which serves to oversee the pay-out of EU funds can only be triggered if the measures of a Member State violate the European Union’s financial interests. This means that the mechanism cannot be used for political purposes.