Home >News >World >EU economy chief urges capitals to back recovery plan

The European Commission's top economic official urged member states to get behind the bloc's 1.8-trillion-euro budget and coronavirus recovery plan Wednesday, after Hungary and Poland blocked approval.

"I call on member states to show a strong sense of responsibility to their own citizens and to all Europeans at this crucial moment and to get this recovery plan over the line," Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.

EU Vice President for the economy Valdis Dombrovskis chimed in that "quick political agreement" was needed on the recovery package "so that it can provide a financial anchor through this storm".

European leaders will meet by videoconference on Thursday.

Hungary and Poland on Monday blocked adoption of the recovery plan and the 2021-2027 long term budget over a dispute over the rule of law.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban argued that the EU wants to link funding to a member state's respect for the rule of law in order to force his country to accept immigrants.

After Poland also issued its veto, on Tuesday Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa expressed his own support for the move.

Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has vowed to work to convince Budapest and Warsaw to lift the blockade and Thursday's summit promises to be tense.

EU leaders thought they had resolved disputes over the seven-year EU budget and associated stimulus plan at a marathon four-day-and-night summit in July.

They have since also overcome differences with the European Parliament over spending priorities, paving the way for MEPs' approval of the trillion-euro budget and 750-billion-euro stimulus package.

But Hungary, Poland and now Slovenia remain implacably opposed to allowing EU institutions to sit in judgement on whether their governments abide by European democratic norms.

European diplomats say there is no question of the hold-outs being kicked out of the Union but admit the EU faces another political crisis as a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic batters the bloc's economy.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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