Hungary and Poland should ask the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to assess the rules linking budget funds to respect of rule of law, instead of blocking the bloc’s budget, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

“They can go to the European Court of Justice and allow the new rules to be tested there,” the head of the Commission told MEPs during the parliament’s plenary session in Brussels.

“That is the place where difference of opinions about legislative texts are usually settled, and that is not done at the expense of millions and millions of European citizens who are urgently waiting for our help,” she added. 

Last week, during the bloc’s 27 ambassadors’ meeting (COREPER), the two countries used their political veto to adopt the so-called Own Resources Decision, blocking the adoption of the EU’s €1.8 trillion Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, including the €750 billion recovery plan, citing that the link between access to EU funds and rule of law was a tool by Brussels to blackmail them over migration.

Their move is expected to further delay the disbursement of EU money to member-states at a rather crucial moment for the bloc, which is struggling to cope with the economic aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“To those who have had to temporarily close their restaurants and shops for the good of us all. To those whose existence is threatened. To the people who fear for their jobs. Even in Poland and Hungary,” von der Leyen said. 

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki are set to meet on Thursday in Budapest for talks over their negotiating position.


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