The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, believes that Poland and Hungary will finally step down on the mechanism of linking EU funds with the rule of law. The Italian pointed out that, like his own country, they urgently needed funding from the new Reconstruction Fund.
"I believe that the veto of Poland and Hungary will eventually be overcome," said Gentiloni. The former Italian prime minister stressed that for both of these countries, funding from the Reconstruction Fund is as crucial for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic consequences as for other EU members.
"They are the countries affected by the pandemic that need these funds and will receive a sum of no less than Italy if their population is taken into account. It would be very difficult for them to refuse it," the Commissioner said.
He added that he did not think that there would be a situation in which EU countries were unable to reach an agreement and that it was necessary to resort to alternative solutions, such as a budget provision.
So far, however, neither the Polish nor the Hungarian government has made it clear that they could withdraw their opposition to the EU's conditionality mechanism. On Thursday, the prime ministers of both countries, Mateusz Morawiecki and Viktor Orbán signed a declaration saying that the common goal of both governments is to "prevent the creation of a mechanism that will not only strengthen but even undermine the rule of law in the Union by degrading it to the role of a political tool.”