Is the EU asking for help from Poland and Hungary? | The economic and financial news of companies from a German point of view

Neither Poland nor Hungary have greened their epidemiological assistance programs. Its Next Generation EU (NGEU) Epidemic Recovery and Resilience fund, adopted in April 2020, aims to support national efforts to mitigate the effects of the epidemic, for a total amount of $ 50.7 trillion ($ 886 billion).

So far, the European Commission has approved 18 national spending plans, but in early August it set a deadline for the implementation of the Warsaw plan.

If approved, Poland will receive 23.23 billion euros and 34 billion euros in loans from the EU stimulus package. Hungary can expect to pay $ 7.7 billion, but has reportedly delayed payment until the end of national elections in spring 2022.

In January, a regulation entered into force that allows the Commission to suspend EU funding for a country if it is suspected of having violated the rule of law.

Poland and Hungary reacted angrily to the delay. For example, the European Union accused the Polish Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro of waging a “hybrid war” with Polish justice. The Hungarian government decided to take the case to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on behalf of Warsaw, arguing that Brussels’ position on the Polish delay was “defamatory and arrogant”.

Milan Nick, a leading ally of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, called recent events a “new crisis” and a “protracted war conflict” between the European Union and two European countries. ballast. .

“The Commission is now preparing to implement the guidelines and could save more time by postponing the approval of the Polish national recovery plan. Hungary has a very serious problem which has not even been discussed at EU level, ”Nick told DW.

The Hungarian and Polish governments have threatened to freeze the EU’s seven-year budget and stimulus fund by the end of 2020. A compromise has been found on the rule’s expiration pending the judgment of the CJEU.

What is the Commission talking about?

At the heart of the controversy was the decision to create the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in Warsaw, which, according to Brussels, undermines the functioning of national justice. The peace established in 2018 can dismiss any judge or lawyer.

On September 7, the Commission asked the CJEU to impose a fine on Warsaw for failing to comply with the July 15 court ruling suspending the operations of the Commission. The Polish government has said it will close the peace, but has yet to do so.

In the case of Hungary, anti-corruption guarantees are a prerequisite for obtaining authorization. Late payments raise concerns that changes to Hungary’s judicial system will not help fight corruption. The European Union (EU) has launched an offensive against the country over a law restricting the rights of LGBTQ people.

Will the political alliance between Polish Prime Minister Moraviki (left) and Hungarian Urban come under pressure from Brussels?

Has Warsaw been misunderstood?

Piotr Arak, director of the Warsaw-based Polish Economic Forum (PIE), said it was a double-edged sword for the commission as there was no legal basis for the delay. “If the commission blocks the money, it could put Poland and Hungary on the Brexit path that everyone wants to avoid,” Arak told DW.

Polish Prime Minister Mathews Moravicki said in interview that “Polexit” is not possible Dziennik Gazeta Prawna The national restructuring plan must be approved in the coming weeks until September 11. Moraviki said the Polish economy was strong enough to cope with the financial losses.

Arak reiterated the Prime Minister’s optimism that postponing aid would only have a moderate impact on GDP until 2022. Associated investments [from EU funds] Economic growth is expected to drop from 4.6% to 4.8% to 0.6%. “However, Warsaw is more afraid of the protracted talks,” Arak said.

The next generation of EU funds will play an important role in the Polish economy in 2023. Arak expects rescue spending to be around $ 40 billion (€ 9 billion; $ 11 billion) This year. Overall, his PIE think tank predicts that funding for the NGEU is likely to increase long-term GDP by 2% to 2.5%.

Regarding Hungary, Agnieszka Bien-Kasala said that the government of Prime Minister Victor Orban would be more open to money from other sources, such as Russia or China. DW, professor of constitution at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toronto, said Polish officials were not so open-minded and therefore needed EU help. Bien-Kagala believes that the EU’s delay could be “the fuel for election campaigns”.

“Sovereignty is a very important value in the political agenda of the PiS. In my opinion, a delay would be more useful than money to obtain a parliamentary majority, ”he said. Retirement “because” is the basic plan of PiS and Ziobro to restructure the judicial system in Poland. “

Hungary is stubborn

Hungarian Minister Judith Varga recently said Hungary is sticking to its draft epidemic stimulus package and is not “getting started” in LGBTQ law. And the country’s unofficial government newspaper hungarian nation Prime Minister Victor Orban reportedly said: “It is time to talk about Hussein”.

– These are the first voices in the political relations of the leaders who have left the EU – believes Bean-Kagala.

But Thomas Frix, a political scientist known for his controversial far-right views and close ties to Orban’s inner circle, hungarian nation In August, “Strong arguments to stay, if we leave, Western companies could leave us”. Especially when it comes to relations with German multinationals – the main car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes – and trade relations with EU member states “are deteriorating”. The public thinks that Orban is the real author of Frix Op-Ed.

Hungary is the second net recipient of the EU budget, receiving more than 5.5 billion zlotys in contributions to the EU budget each year.

Winston Ferguson

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