Deputy PM tells Brussels compromise possible on EU budget

Tomasz Gzell/PAP

A Polish deputy prime minister has said a compromise may be possible over a rule-of-law conditionality clause in the future EU budget, arguing that if the issue of the regulation's form cannot be reopened, "interpretative declarations" may be a way forward.

Jaroslaw Gowin held talks on Thursday in Brussels with EU commissioners concerning the EU budget and recovery fund. He said during the talks he had tried to explain Poland's reasons for raising concerns over the current form of the conditionality mechanism tying access to funds to observance of the rule of law. He said he also presented arguments indicating the possibility of reaching a compromise on the issue.

In Gowin's opinion, a makeshift budget would not be in the interests of Poland and other member states, despite some people voicing the opposite view. "That is why I believe that it is in the interests of all Europeans to find a good compromise," Gowin said. "Such a compromise is possible even if not in the form of opening discussion anew on the form of the (conditionality - PAP) regulation, then in the form of binding interpretative declarations." He added that he believed an agreement could be reached.

"We all realise that a possible veto would not only automatically launch the procedure of the makeshift budget, but it may also launch what my interlocutors called Plan B, which they talk about very reluctantly, but which they do not at all rule out, or some form of cooperation between the 25 remaining EU states," Gowin said.