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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

PM Orban: We stand a good chance of winning the debate on the EU budget

By: V4 Agency

Hungary and Poland stand a good chance of winning in the ongoing debate about the EU’s next budget and the issue of linking funding to “rule-of-law conditions”, if “things are developing in the right direction” in the next few days, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, after talks with Mateusz Morawiecki, his Polish counterpart, in Warsaw on Tuesday evening.

In his interview to commercial news broadcaster Polsat News, Hungary’s prime minister said that the positions of Hungary and Poland, the EU’s current German presidency and the governments of several other member states were now closer to each other than a couple of weeks, or even days ago.

Issues concerning the rule of law and financial issues must be addressed separately, PM Orban emphasized. He argued that a situation in which financial sanctions could be applied against a member state for “non-compliance” with European policy on gender or migration-related issues “would not be desirable”.

The PM highlighted that Hungary and Poland both regard compliance with the EU’s basic treaty and its provisions highly important, adding that they regard safeguarding their national interests and EU payouts that they are entitled to equally important.

He said the two countries were strong enough together to defend their financial interests, adding that “there is no need to worry, neither of us will lose a single penny.”

Viktor Orban pointed out that maintaining a conflict situation and a veto over the budget is not good for Europe, nor is it in the interest of either Hungary, or Poland. This is why an agreement would be needed as soon as possible, which would benefit all sides, he said.

“The debate is not about financial resources, it’s just a secondary issue; what we are fighting for is protecting national sovereignty,” Orban said.

“The V4, Hungary, and Poland are the future of the EU,” Hungary’s premier added.

Speaking to Poland’s public broadcaster later, Viktor Orban underlined that the two countries had strengthened their alliance, which he described as extremely important, arguing that this close cooperation “gives us strength.”

Responding to a question, Mr Orban emphasized that Hungary and Poland will most certainly stand by each other until the end of the negotiations.

“I think we are close to reaching an agreement, which would be a victory, a good result for Hungary and Poland, and it can also be very good for the European Union,” he said.


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