Euractiv reports his Wednesday remarks, when he said: "Some political groups... are openly threatening to use the instrument wrongly called "rule of law" in order to discipline individual EU Member States through a majority vote..."
Hungary can not accept the European Union's budget and post-COVID recovery package in its present form as it amounts to "blackmail", Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff reiterated on Thursday. The Associated Press reported further remarks where Prime Minister Orban explicitly invoked the mass migration issue - a longstanding area of disagreement between the European Union, which has attempted to institute a mandatory migrant redistribution programme, and its conservatively minded members - as being at the heart of the dispute, and Europe's desire to turn the screws on some members.
The leaders were also expected to take the temperature of post-Brexit trade talks, with time fast running out to strike a deal with Britain before it leaves the single market on January 1.
Hungary and Poland on Monday blocked the EU's 2021-2027 budget and recovery plan, worth a combined 1.85 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion), because access to the funds would be conditional upon respecting the rule of law. All EU nations badly need the money as coronavirus infections and deaths surge around Europe and economies are ravaged by both increased health care demands and lockdowns to slow the pace of contamination.
"In Brussels today, they only view countries which let migrants in as those governed by the rule of law".
While the two eastern European countries refuse to support the financial plan with the rule of law condition, others, including the Netherlands and the European Parliament, refuse to accept it without it. "Those who protect their borders can not qualify as countries where rule of law prevails", he said in a statement released to the state news agency MTI.
'Hungary and Poland stated what they didn't want, not what they did - true to their form as men of trouble, not of solutions, ' said an irritated European diplomat.
Orban and other Hungarian officials have consistently sought to portray attempts in Brussels to rein in Hungary's democratic backsliding as rooted exclusively in pressuring the country to accept immigrants.
"Hungary, in fact, is a dedicated follower of the rule of law. The Ieaders of the current governing parties were the people who fought out democracy in the face of the communist dictatorship", Orban said.
Morawiecki and Orban are frequent scourges of Brussels, with anti-EU rhetoric rife in both their governments despite Hungary and Poland being the biggest receivers of bloc spending.
But an EU official said EU Council President Charles Michel, who hosts European summits, made sure ahead of time that the conversation would remain short and "under control" to allow for later mediation. Neither can be offered without the unanimous support of all EU governments and the European Parliament.