“Europe needs a financial injection now. The joint work of the Visegrad Group has led to this success”, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a joint presser with Hungary’s Viktor Orban after the summit’s conclusion, celebrating the fact that rule of law conditionality had been significantly watered down.
Out of the package deal, Poland will receive €125 billion in non-repayable grants and €34 billion in loans.
Speaking to reporters, Morawiecki pointed out that in the agreement on the MFF and the Recovery Fund there is no rule of law conditionality.
“This mechanism, which is yet to be created, will be subject to the validation of the European Council. Without the agreement of the Visegrad Group [of Central European countries], nothing will happen here, because the European Council means unanimity,” he added.
“I don’t agree to accusing Poland of breaching the rule of law. We’re in an uneven dialogue with European institutions. These are two separate issues and we kept that in the conclusions. We want the rule of law, but we also want financial discipline,” Morawiecki told reporters.
This stands in contrast to pre-summit positions, which made it clear that there would need to be a link between the rule of law and the EU funds and in contrast to the text of the agreement which resorts to the Article 2 of the Treaty and states that the EU Council can vote on that matter by qualified majority.
Morawiecki also thanked Orban, who returned the praise, thanking “his friends in V4 for this marathon of negotiations that took place”.
“We had the same positions. I thank Prime Minister Orbán for his excellent cooperation and the historic construction of this contract for Poland, Hungary and Europe as a whole”, said the Polish PM.
Morawiecki also praised “better conditions” for Poland on climate conditionality after the final deal maintained the stipulation that only countries that have signed up to the EU-wide goal of climate neutrality by 2050 will be eligible for funding.
(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com | Łukasz Gadzała, EURACTIV.pl)