There is fatigue in the meeting room, the atmosphere thickens
Over time, fatigue has become apparent among the participants in the Brussels summit. According to diplomats, French President Emmanuel Macron slammed his fist on the table at one point, while Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had stopped listening to the others. “Green countries continue to block it. The course is not listening, “said the diplomat, according to whom the Dutch and Austrian delegations are using the demand for the rule of law to block discussions.
When Chancellor Kurz left the meeting at one point to make a phone call, Macron responded immediately. “See? He doesn’t care. He doesn’t listen to the others, he has the wrong attitude. He takes care of his media image and basta, “the diplomats of the French president quote. Another of the diplomats even described the moment when Macron “slammed his fist on the table.”
The French president is one of the most prominent figures at the summit, to whom he came up with a very offensive strategy. “You can easily think of me as my stud, but Angela is on my side,” Macron said at one point, which made some of the negotiators laugh, allegedly Chancellor Angela Merkel herself.
Germany and France support the European Commission’s proposal and agree in principle with its original proposal of EUR 500 billion for grants and the remaining EUR 250 billion for loans.
The principle of the rule of law when drawing from the fund
There is also a debate about the conditionality of drawing on the fund by complying with the principles of the rule of law. While Western European countries insist on being as strict as possible, Hungary and Poland want to drop it. The EU institutions are conducting proceedings against the two states for violating European values, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán submitted a proposal on Saturday that does not mention the rule of law at all.
He told reporters on Sunday that he was not opposed to the merger in principle, but that it must be secured by a “new legally binding instrument”, which Orbán said will take a long time to find. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also categorically denied that he could support the current proposal, in which a qualified majority of member states could decide to cut off a state from financial resources.
“It’s a tool for stronger countries that other states can start blackmailing,” the conservative politician told reporters when he arrived at the meeting. He added that Poland also does not agree with combining investments with the achievement of so-called climate neutrality, to which Poland, as the only EU country, has not yet committed itself.