If there is one word that is constantly being used in Brussels when it comes to the conflict over the release of aid to Ukraine, it is intimidation. Notably, it is used by both the Hungarian government and representatives of the other 26 EU member states. The blackmailer is – of course – the other side.
Most of the time the blame falls on Orban. He already accepted the EU summit last December. He initially delayed the start of accession talks with Ukraine, but eventually made it possible by walking out of the meeting. Necessary consensus was maintained. A financial offer from the EU Commission is also said to have helped.
But the Hungarian head of government was strapped for money. He did not want to accept the 50 billion euros agreed in principle as economic aid to Ukraine. And so far he has been. He demands that aid coming from the EU budget be voted on every year as a mix of grants and loans. Critics fear that Orban may make new demands every year.
The mood ahead of the summit is one of suspicion and cynicism
The atmosphere ahead of the summit is correspondingly tense, and all will spark new debates and controversies. For example, Orbán should continue to oppose newspaper coverage that vaguely talks about hurting Hungary economically without citing evidence. or speculation in another medium about the possibility of initiating proceedings under Article Seven and ultimately disenfranchising Hungary.
Orban denies trying to block a compromise. On the contrary, Hungary is ready to be part of a solution, he said in a newspaper interview – the decision to provide economic aid to Ukraine is renewed and confirmed every year.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, made an appeal to the participants a few hours before the summit. The contract, written by Michael, is critical to the viability of the union. What a compromise might look like remains a mystery for now. According to reports, other governments are also in the dark as organizers and masters of ceremonies of the preliminary talks between France, Germany and Hungary and the Council President and Presidency country Belgium. .
Peasant protests and the Middle East crisis are secondary topics
Economic aid to Ukraine was the main topic of the summit. When it comes to planned arms and ammunition supplies, EU countries are currently falling short of their own promises. But there are other issues EU politicians have to deal with.
Various aspects of the Middle East crisis, especially the war in the Gaza Strip, can weigh heavily, especially since governments are of the same opinion about Israel's actions. It will be noisy in Brussels as farmers bring their tractors and protests to the European capital and will reportedly include traffic chaos for the summit meeting.