27 EU Members Officially Pass €1.8-Trillion 2021 Budget
The European Union (EU) officially approved its proposed 1.8-trillion-euro budget for 2021, having hurdled the disapproval of two of its members.
According to a report by BBC, EU leaders have struck a deal with Hungary and Poland—two of the member countries which rejected the budget proposal—over a provision that links the funding with adherence to the rule of law.
It can be recalled that Poland and Hungary, which were partially backed by Slovenia, claimed that the EU’s rule was tantamount to a power grab by a “European oligarchy,” and that Brussels was trying to bully more conservative countries that don’t accept unmitigated immigration.
Poland deputy foreign minister Pawel Jablonski said that the provisions in the budget were vague and wide that they would allow for “politically-motivated sanctions” against the two countries or any other member state.
“Poland and Hungary are being targeted for months now and we know very well that it would simply be used the very next day against us,” he said.
In July, the EU already agreed in principle some 1.1-trillion-euro budget for the period between 2021 and 2027, as well as a 750-billion-euro budget to combat coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) which will be financed by joint debt.
Had the bloc failed to approve the proposal, it would be forced to operate on an austerity budget.
“Now we can start with the implementation and build back our economies,” said European Commission President Charles Michel following Thursday’s talks involving all leaders of the 27-member state.
“Our landmark recovery package will drive forward our green & digital transitions,” he added.
However, the legality of the compromise deal can now be challenged by a member state in the European Court of Justice.
“We of course will do this… we are convinced this needs to be checked,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was quoted as telling Poland-based TVP Television.