24 Nov, 2020

ALDE President reacts to statements by Poland and Hungary

On 19 November, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hosted a virtual European Council Summit focused on the European approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery budget as part of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

EU leaders discussed the EU budget, which is being linked to maintaining the rule of law in member states. This rule of law mechanism could limit the amount member states receive, should they do not comply with European democratic values. Poland and Hungary are currently blocking the negotiations.

ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen commented on German radio on 20 November that Poland and Hungary are not bluffing and underlined the importance of the shared European values. These values form the core of European democracies and cannot be compromised, President van Baalen said. With a lot of experience in EU affairs, President van Baalen remains optimistic about the negotiation outcome, however, noting that Poland and Hungary are also very dependent on the EU budget.

Several other liberal politicians have also commented on the illiberal regimes in Poland and Hungary, repeatedly violating people’s freedoms.

On 10 and 11 December, European leaders will gather in Brussels at the next European Council Summit to continue their discussion.

You can listen to his interview on Deutschlandfunk here (in German).

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