Poland will block the new EU budget if the disbursement of EU funds is contingent on the observance of rule of law principles, a Polish government official said on Monday.
“If the EU will want to break treaties, if the decisions made during the meeting of EU leaders are not respected, Poland will not agree to adopting the EU budget,” the head of the prime minister’s chancellery, Michal Dworczyk, said during an interview with radio broadcaster RMF FM radio.
The comments echo similar, though more vague, suggestions made earlier by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
At a Monday press conference, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, the face of Poland’s controversial judicial reforms and a long-time proponent of vetoing the budget, said that the rule of law mechanism is just a “pretext” to “radically limit [Poland’s] sovereignty.”
At issue is “whether Poland will be an independent entity within the community that is the EU, or will it be subject to a political and institutional enslavement,” Ziobro said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski also expressed reservations about the mechanism on Monday, stating that the conditionality mechanism would give the European Commission “unlimited power, outside any real control” to make decisions “crucial for the future of the EU based on a set of entirely arbitrary criteria.”
Poland and Hungary vehemently oppose introducing any conditionality into budget disbursements and claimed to have blocked attempts to create one during a July EU summit.
However, negotiators from the European Parliament and representatives of EU governments struck a deal earlier this month on a mechanism that would be triggered when EU funds are misused - in cases of corruption or fraud, for example. It could also be tied to fundamental values like freedom, democracy, equality, and respect for human rights.
DPA, 16TH NOVEMBER, 2020