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Oct 14, 2020

Ministry of Justice on EU debate over Budgetary Conditionality

The creation of additional rule of law mechanisms requires the amendment of the Treaties with a consensus of Member States. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

Hungary’s Ministry of Justice has issued an official position paper on the debate. Here’s the complete text:

In July 2020, the European Council agreed on a mechanism to protect the budget of the EU, thus strengthening the rule of law. The agreed-upon text excludes political and ideological requirements from being used as a trigger to activate the conditionality.

Regrettably, some Member States and the European Parliament are attempting to reopen the July conclusions of the European Council and jeopardise the adoption of the legislative package. Those who never truly supported the economic recovery of Europe are now using a rule of law conditionality, completely absent from the European Council conclusions, as a pretext to dismantle the agreement.

Hungary’s position remains clear: As a matter of European solidarity, we accept the July conclusions of the European Council on the multiannual financial framework and recovery instrument. Hungary supports all efforts necessary for the MFF/NGEU package to enter into force on 1 January 2021 so that assistance may be provided for the Member States that are most in need.

Hungary supports strengthening the financial protection of the EU budget. Negotiations on a real budgetary conditionality must be based on the European Council conclusions from July. An agreement on such a conditionality could be reached without any controversy.

The conclusions of the European Council form a single and coherent system, and the consensus of the Member States assumes the proper implementation of political guidance on the new general budgetary conditionality in the course of legislation. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

Rule of law is a value common to all Member States and protected by Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union. The creation of additional rule of law mechanisms requires the amendment of the Treaties with a consensus of Member States. Hungary is open to discuss such initiatives. However, the risk that the MFF/NGEU package becomes a hostage of attempts to circumvent the Treaties should be prevented.