The question of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union has certainly not been settled; only the lack of consensus within the EU on the matter has been affirmed, the political director of the Prime Minister Balázs Orbán stated on public radio.
Orbán pointed out that at the European Union summit, Hungary unequivocally expressed its disagreement with Ukraine’s accession. Under the current conditions,
Hungary considers the initiation of accession negotiations to be misguided, premature, unwarranted, and unprepared.
However, the twenty-six member states insisted on sending a positive signal to Ukraine, emphasizing that accession negotiations take a considerable amount of time, he added.
According to Balázs Orbán’s calculations, there are at least 75 points where unanimous decision-making is required. Therefore, without Hungary’s consent, the process cannot proceed. Ultimately, the Hungarian parliament also needs to have the final say. ‘We expressed our disagreement and allowed the 26 member states to make this decision,’ he said.
The political director of the Prime Minister emphasized that the EU treaty is unequivocal: expanding the EU requires the consent of the member states, and Hungary’s rights cannot be restricted beyond a certain extent by any procedural rule.
He continued, stating that the discourse did not revolve around this issue but rather focused on the fact that the EU set seven conditions for granting candidate status, of which, according to the evaluation of the European Commission, Ukraine fulfils only four. According to Hungary, none of these conditions have been met. In these circumstances, Balázs Orbán deemed the progression to the next phase of accession negotiations untimely.
He also discussed Hungary’s position on the EU budget, stating that there is no need to modify it. Every issue can be resolved either outside the budget framework or through internal reallocation within the existing framework. This applies to Ukraine’s accession and providing additional financing due to increased interest burdens as well, he noted. However, despite this, some member states and certain EU institutions, such as the leaders of the European Commission, believe that modifications are necessary.
Hungary is ready for negotiations on this matter, but with conditions, Balázs Orbán indicated. Among these conditions, he mentioned that, firstly,
the funds due to the Hungarian people cannot be given to Ukraine,
and secondly, a strategic debate must be conducted regarding the financing of Ukraine, as the existing strategy has failed.
Regarding the contributions to the increased interest burdens of the Recovery Fund, Hungary cannot entertain such contributions until it receives the EU funds it is entitled to. He emphasized that Hungary will not finance such burdens when Brussels, for political reasons, withholds funding for Budapest.
The political director of the Prime Minister speculated that an extraordinary EU summit would be held in the near future, so the contentious issues must be resolved in the period leading up to it. If successful, there will be a budget modification; otherwise, other member states will have to resolve further issues outside the budget, he concluded.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI