Início » EU leader to visit Hungary to defuse tensions with Orban

EU leader to visit Hungary to defuse tensions with Orban

EU chief Charles Michel will visit Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday, an EU spokesperson said, after the Hungarian leader was accused of threatening to block key decisions on Ukraine.


“On Monday, @eucopresident @CharlesMichel will be travelling to Hungary for a bilateral meeting with @PM_ViktorOrban,” Michel’s spokesperson posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

The announcement comes after the nationalist Hungarian prime minister was accused of preparing to use his veto power at a December summit to block fresh European aid to neighbouring Ukraine, in part to unlock funds for his own country.

As Ukraine presses its counteroffensive against Russia, Kyiv is awaiting further military support from the bloc, with which it hopes to open membership talks at the coming summit.

But Hungary, Russia’s closest ally among the EU’s 27 member states, has thrown up numerous roadblocks.

Last week, Orban wrote to Michel calling for “urgent discussion” on the bloc’s overall strategy on Ukraine.

“The European Council is not in a position to make key decisions on the proposed security guarantees or additional financial support for Ukraine, endorse further strengthening of the EU sanctions regime or agree on the future of the enlargement process unless a consensus on our future strategy towards Ukraine is found,” he wrote in his November 16 letter, obtained by AFP.

Hungary was authorised Thursday to receive a 900-million-euro ($980-million) advance from the EU as part of a 10.4 billion post-Covid pandemic recovery fund.

But disbursement of the bulk of that money has been suspended until Budapest meets several rule-of-law conditions.

Orban, who has repeatedly butted heads with Brussels over alleged democratic backsliding by his government and attempts to reform the EU’s asylum policies, has recently launched a public campaign hostile to the commission.

In addition to freezing billions in the post-Covid recovery fund, Brussels has placed a hold on 22 billion euros in separate cohesion funds for Hungary until it can prove reforms have been taken to ensure the independence of judges, the rights of LGBTIQA+ minorities and the independence of academics.

Hungary has adopted some changes it claims meet demands related to the judiciary in a bid to receive 13 billion euros of that money.

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