Poland, Hungary Mayors Seek Way Around Potential EU Budget Veto
(Bloomberg) -- The mayors of Warsaw and Budapest are looking to salvage access to European Union funding in case EU leaders reach a deal over the bloc’s funding that precludes Poland and Hungary, according to a Polish media report.
Rafal Trzaskowski and Gergely Karacsony will send a letter to European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Monday to dissociate the capitals from the central governments, broadcaster TVN said, adding the document is being signed by other cities as well. TVN said the letter includes an appeal to allow local authorities to have access to EU funding even if Poland and Hungary aren’t part of the final agreement over 1.8 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion) of stimulus in the bloc’s new coronavirus aid package and its 2021-2027 budget.
Poland and Hungary remain at loggerheads with the remaining 25 EU members over new rules of disbursement of the bloc’s aid. EU leaders agreed in July to attach rule-of-law conditions to the payment of funds, a proposal Poland and Hungary consider to be a violation of their national sovereignty and a threat to their political projects.
The liberal-leaning mayors have long opposed nationalist policies of their central governments. A year ago, Trzaskowski and Karacsony joined the mayors of Prague and Bratislava in signing a pact to protect common values, including freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and said they’d lobby the EU for direct funding amid moves by some governments to squeeze the budgets of opposition-led capitals.
The Warsaw mayor’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment after calls placed by Bloomberg News outside business hours.
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