Polish, Hungarian PMs to align policy on EU budget

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, will meet his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, in Budapest on Thursday to establish a common position on the EU budget negotiations, an official from Poland's ruling party has said.

Poland and Hungary are the only two countries in the 27-member European bloc to oppose a clause linking payouts of EU funds to respect for the rule of law status. Both Warsaw and Budapest have been at odds with the European Commission over what the commission sees as attempts to undermine the rule of law in the two countries.

Krzysztof Sobolewski, a senior member of Poland's governing party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), told Polish public radio that "the German presidency (of the EU - PAP) has reconsidered the subject and there are signals from them indicating that there is a willingness to reach a compromise."

"The meeting is aimed to align (...) a joint position towards the current situation concerning the passage of (the next seven-year - PAP) EU budget,” he added. “We know very well that Hungary was the first to oppose the proposal to link the rule of law principle to EU funds, to the EU budget. Poland is also in this group and Slovenia has also expressed support for Poland and Hungary in the matter."

Morawiecki and Orban are also expected to discuss bilateral cooperation, Sobolewski said.

The politician put the chances of completing the budget talks by the end of the year at "50-50."

Germany currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU and is responsible for the budget talks.