Hungary to raise political veto over EU’s 2021-27 budget

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Hungary plans to raise a political veto on the European Union’s 2021-27 budget later on Monday over the proposal to tie disbursement of EU funds to rule-of-law conditions, the web site portfolio.hu reported on Monday.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist government has been at odds with European partners for years over a perceived erosion of democratic standards, which has sidelined Orban and his Polish allies in the bloc.

The EU’s top forum decided over the summer that it would tie any future fund disbursement to respecting the democratic standards incorporated in the EU’s founding treaty, such as the freedom of courts, the media and education, all of which have come under attack by Orban in recent years.

Orban’s Fidesz party has been suspended by the European People’s Party, the bloc’s conservative umbrella group for right-wing politicians, and the European Parliament has started a procedure to suspend Hungary’s voting rights in the bloc in response to its democratic shortcomings.

The Hungarian leader, who is building a self-styled “illiberal democracy”, has rejected those accusations and accused Brussels of double standards of allowing other countries to do things Hungary is punished for.

Portfolio reported that the German EU presidency will ask member states later on Monday to express their political stance on the funding conditionality, where the Hungarian government would veto both the EU budget and the post-COVID recovery fund.

Reuters was not able to verify portfolio.hu’s information immediately. The Foreign Ministry and the government spokesman did not immediately reply requests for comment.