European officials will be entering “intensive” negotiations in the coming days after Hungary and Poland blocked a deal on the region’s $2 trillion stimulus plan — an impasse that’s raising concerns over an economic recovery in the region.
The two countries vetoed the deal after it was suggested that future stimulus disbursements will be linked with commitments to the rule of law — a mechanism that upholds European values, including freedom of the press and independence of the judiciary.
Poland and Hungary, under investigation for allegedly disrespecting these European values, believe this link has political motives and is part of a wider attack against the two nations.
“It would be fine if this really would be about the rule of law, but in fact it’s about politics. The government of Poland, the government of Hungary — we are conservative governments and we are constantly under attack from Brussels, from other European politicians,” Paweł Jabłoński, deputy foreign minister of Poland, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday.
He also said comments on Poland’s rule of law commitments coming from some politicians in Brussels were “pure hypocrisy.”
There has been a political clash in recent years between two opposing camps: Some nations believe their counterparts in Hungary, Poland and others are breaching European values by influencing the appointment of judges or restricting how the press works; but these countries argue they still respect the rule of law.