We are facing a protracted crisis where the second wave of COVID-19 crashes on an already painfully hit EU in economic and social terms.
In this delicate context, the EU managed to put forward a courageous package to support the European recovery post-COVID and at the same time guarantee a structural change in our European production system through the double transition towards digital and green economy financed by the next long-term budget and the recovery package. The EU Ambassadors also accepted a deal struck with the European parliament which establishes a clear link between EU money and the respect for the rule of law.
However, yesterday the Hungarian and Polish governments blocked the agreement on the distribution of the post-COVID 19 recovery funds in order to avoid monitoring the human rights and rule of law situation in the EU Member States. By blocking the EU budget and the recovery fund, they are preventing billions of euros from quickly reaching citizens in dire need of support in many European countries heavily affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
The Workers' Group is deeply concerned that two EU governments are putting their own party agenda first to the detriment - not only of the whole EU - but also of their own populations in a critical moment in which EU citizens are already suffering and will suffer the social and economic consequences of the pandemic.
Fundamental rights and the rule of law are intrinsic to democratic societies and, of course, to the EU, which recognises this in Article 2 of the Treaty: there is no debate between economics and human rights: the whole of the EU's institutional construction and its economic, political and social development can only be understood on the basis of respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Principles are not negotiable and neither are values.