visegrad four


Visegrad Four To Debate EU Funding Link To Rule Of Law

European Union, rule of law

Brussels, May 24 (CTK) – The Visegrad Four countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) are ready for a debate in the EU linking its funds with the quality of rule of law in its next budget, Slovak EU envoy Peter Javorcik and Hungarian EU affairs state secretary Szabolcs Takacs said today.


However, the four countries expect the condition to be valid in the same way for all the 27 countries which will form the EU after 2020 due to Brexit, Javorcik and Takacs said.


At present, Hungary is ending its presidency of the EU, which will be passed to Slovakia in July.


“This must be a mechanism valid for all member countries. Not only for the cohesion policy, but also for other funds, such as agriculture and science and research,” Javorcik said.


He said the way of solutions the European Commission had submitted to the EU members fulfilled the parameters.


“We in Hungary believe that the maintenance of the rule of law has a crucial importance,” Takacs said.


“Central Europe is not afraid of this, we have a rule of law in Hungary and we will positively discuss the proposal. We have nothing to conceal,” he added.


The EC is conducting the proceedings over the quality of the rule of law with Poland. Budapest, too, has heard repeated criticism of its approach to NGOs and the reform of the higher education law from Brussels.


The V4 countries want “an ambitious budget” for 2021-2027. Only small cuts should be made in the usual EU programmes such as the common agricultural policy and cohesion policy, while it should finance a better protection of the EU outer border and internal security.


This is why V4 countries are ready to increase their current contributions to the EU coffers and are open to a discussion of the new sources of income, Javorcik said.


In early May, the EC unveiled its draft budget for 2021-2027, which means after the Brexit. It is to amount to 1.135 bilionu euros or 1.11 percent of the GDP of the EU.