Pedro Marquez, Vice-Chairman of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, argues that the rest of the EU should not allow Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to “blackmail” them with threats to block Ukraine’s membership negotiations.
The Guardian quoted the MEP as saying this.
Marquez urged the EU to abandon its rule requiring unanimous decisions on EU enlargement.
“When you join the EU, it means that you are a democratic country. I think we did not foresee that democracy could be corrupted from within,” he explained.
Marquez warned against the EU’s inability to agree on support for Ukraine and its movement towards the EU.
“At a time when the US Congress has just rejected Joe Biden’s proposal to continue supporting Ukraine, we cannot put ourselves in a situation where Ukrainians see that we are also unable to continue helping them.
From my point of view, it is also unacceptable for anyone to have the impression that at the end of next week Orban will have achieved his goal and received his 30 billion euros in exchange for the EU continuing to provide assistance to Ukraine,” the MEP said.
He emphasized that the EU “cannot exchange money for values.”
The warning came ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron’s scheduled dinner meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Paris on Thursday evening.
The French leader is expected to tell Orban that blocking the start of talks with Ukraine would undermine the EU’s strategy in the fight against Russian President Putin’s regime and help Ukraine in its defense war against Russian invaders.
Orban has threatened to disrupt the December 14–15 EU summit, making clear in two letters to European Council President Charles Michel that he opposes accession talks with Kyiv and wants to hold a strategic discussion on EU support for Ukraine instead.