Portugal alongside Hungary and Poland against the EU’s rule of law...

Who says it is Witold Waszczykowski: Portugal was aligned with Hungary and Poland in its criticisms of the European Commission’s proposal that aimed at making budgetary policies dependent on countries’ respect for the rule of law. According to this Sunday’s edition of “Público”, the former Polish Foreign Minister reveals that the Portuguese Government has opposed the implementation of this mechanism.

The Visegrad Group, Slovenia, Latvia and Portugal “played on our side”, confirmed Waszczykowski, currently a MEP elected by Law and Justice (nationalist and conservative party to which President Andrzej Duda belongs), in an interview with “Público” / Investigate Europe.

Although the European Council does not release the minutes of the preparatory meetings, a source had access to the official documents of the German delegation, which provided “Público” with additional proof that Portugal was “very critical” of the rule of law safeguard mechanism.

On November 12, 2018 – long before, therefore, the pandemic and the discussion on the already famous financial ‘bazooka’, Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs, made a major intervention, behind closed doors, in which questioned the European Commission’s proposal, “including the lack of connection between the rule of law and the budget”.

Alongside Portugal, also Italy – at the time governed by a coalition that included Viktor Orbán’s political ally Matteo Salvini – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Croatia expressed doubts and criticized the executive’s initiative Community level.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to “Público” in writing. Augusto Santos Silva’s office ensured that respect for the rule of law “has always been a red line” for the Government and said it is not true that Portugal has abandoned that position of principle.

However, he also noted that during the negotiation “the Government’s position was always ready to find a solution that would allow a global agreement to be reached in which all member states would review each other, respecting the balance of consensus – always difficult in a Union to 27 “.


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