Agreement reached by Warsaw, Berlin, Budapest over EU budget - deputy PM

Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

A Polish deputy prime minister said on Wednesday that agreement had been reached between Poland, Hungary and Germany regarding EU budget negotiations stalled by a standoff over a rule-of-law clause.

Jaroslaw Gowin said the details of the compromise would first be presented to Poland's European partners.

"For now, there is agreement in the Warsaw, Berlin, Budapest triangle. I believe the agreement will be accepted by the remaining 24 member states," he said.

The EU, Poland and Hungary have been locked in a dispute over the budget and an attached pandemic recovery fund. The two Central European states have threatened to veto the budget owing to a clause that links funding to respect for rule of law.

"On the Polish and Hungarian sides, we see the situation as being that the reasons for Poland and Hungary adopting a different position to the remaining EU member states (in EU budget negotiations - PAP) have disappeared," Gowin told a press conference by MPs from his Agreement party, which is part of the ruling coalition.

"Also convergent with the position of Poland and Hungary is the position of the German presidency," he continued. "But of course, for an agreement at the European Council, unanimity is required."

Gowin also appealed to the leaders of all EU countries "to think in terms of a common Europe."

"Poland and Hungary together with the German presidency are presenting a certain plan for a good agreement and we hope this plan gains the acceptance of all EU leaders," he said.

He added that the use of the veto would bring little in the way of benefits to Poland.

"It is a scenario of veto and death because, after all, a possible veto of Poland and Hungary (...) would only lead to three results for Poland: there would be no new EU budget, of which Poland is the largest beneficiary, secondly there would be no European Recovery Fund, of which we are also one of the biggest beneficiaries, however there would be a (rule-of-law - PAP) regulation since a veto does not block the entry into force of the regulation," Gowin said.

But the deputy prime minister went on to say that the current contents of the EU budget, which include the rule-of-law mechanism, would be "harmful from the point of view of the European integration process, because it would provide a tool for arbitrary interference in the matters of individual member states."