Polish PM reiterates veto threat ahead of key EU summit

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland’s prime minister has warned that the government will not approve the next EU budget if its proposals are not written into the budget's rule of law mechanism.

"We want it to be clear that if the guidelines expected by us in the European Council's conclusions are not incorporated by the European Commission into the rule-of-law mechanism, we will not be able to agree on the budgetary procedure," Mateusz Morawiecki said an hour before the start of an EU summit.

The EU and Poland and Hungary have been at loggerheads over the mechanism, which ties funding to respect for the rule of law. Poland, along with Hungary, has threatened to veto the budget, and with it an attached EUR 750 billion pandemic recovery fund, if the mechanism remains in place.

Bloomberg cited a source close to the negotiations who said Poland, along with Hungary, have apparently proposed that the rule-of-law mechanism can only be applied once the European Court of Justice has ruled on its legality.

Morawiecki said he wanted the 2021-27 EU budget to be launched as quickly as possible, but said Poland would not back down.

He also said the European Council was the right body to map out all European activities, as opposed to the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm.

The Thursday-Friday EU summit is expected to be see tough talks as the inclusion of the rule-of-law mechanism has become a key point for some countries, including the Netherlands.