Joint Declaration of the Prime Minister of Poland and the Prime Minister of Hungary:
With respect to the MFF/Next Generation EU financial package including the draft Regulation on a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget we agreed on the following principles and objectives which we are going to pursue during the negotiations within the European Union:
1. We are committed to our common values as enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. We recall that the procedure for the protection of those values is stipulated by Article 7 of the Treaty. We stand on the basis of legality and therefore defend the status quo as contained in the Treaties.
2. We are seeking solutions which make the necessary financial resources available as soon as possible for all Member States.
3. The present situation that prevents the quick conclusion of the legislative process is created by those who established a link between the Rule of Law and the EU budget. Our position has been clear from the beginning of the negotiations starting with the proposal of the Commission in 2018. That linkage was known to carry risk of blocking the process of approval of the MFF/Next Generation EU financial package.
4. The outcome of the negotiations between the Council Presidency and the European Parliament does not conform to the agreement reached among the Heads of State and Government at the July European Council.
5. Our objective is to prevent a mechanism which would not strengthen, but undermine the Rule of Law within the Union by degrading it to a political instrument.
The proposed conditionality circumvents the Treaty, applies vague definitions and ambiguous terms without clear criteria on which sanctions can be based and contains no meaningful procedural guarantees.
6. Our countries have been acting and continue to act on the basis of loyal cooperation and solidarity. We remain ready to contribute to a solution to the present situation. We maintain that it requires a substantial modification of the currently proposed mechanism.
Our common proposal is to facilitate the speedy adoption of the financial package by establishing a two-track process.
On the one hand, to limit the scope of any additional budgetary conditionality to the protection of the financial interests of the Union in accordance with the July conclusions of the European Council. On the other hand, to discuss in the European Council, whether a link between the Rule of Law and the financial interests of the Union should be established. If it is so decided, then the appropriate procedures foreseen by the Treaties, including convening an intergovernmental conference, should be considered in order to negotiate the necessary modification of the Treaties.
We have decided to align our positions on these issues. Neither Poland, nor Hungary will accept any proposal that is deemed unacceptable by the other.
Budapest, 26 November 2020