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EU considers several options to overcome Hungary's veto on Ukrainian issues – Politico

Friday, 1 December 2023, 14:58
EU considers several options to overcome Hungary's veto on Ukrainian issues – Politico
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The EU is considering several options for responding to Budapest’s intentions to block important decisions regarding Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda with reference to the article by the Politico media outlet based on commentaries of European diplomats

Details: The most radical option is to apply the procedure under Article 7. It is used when a country is considered at risk of breaching the bloc’s core values and allows blocking the right to vote of this member state concerning the EU’s decision.


Yet there is a lot of hesitation when it comes to applying this option against Orbán since it may have long-term consequences and only aggravate the crisis. Specifically, there was an incident in 2000 when the EU leaders applied "diplomatic sanctions" against Austria due to the entry of a far-right party into the Austrian coalition. The EU’s step caused a negative reaction in Austrian society and later the same year the sanctions were cancelled.

Many in Brussels now share the opinion that applying Article 7 against Orbán may have a similar result, fueling populism and triggering a snowball effect leading to an unintended Hungarian exit of the bloc. Therefore the diplomats are seeking ways to work around Hungary’s veto.

One of the options is to divide the €50 billion support package for Ukraine for 2024-2027 into smaller annual amounts. The critics of this decision note that, thus, there will be less predictability and certainty about Ukraine’s financial situation. Moreover, this would become a bad political signal: if the EU cannot agree on long-term support for Ukraine, then why are Europeans urging the US to take such steps.

The situation is similar with military aid at the EU level. Member states can provide aid under bilateral agreements, not EU structures such as the European Peace Fund, and literally bypass Hungary’s veto. But this would mean that the EU as an alliance would not play its role in supplying Ukraine with military aid would be an admission of the impossibility of agreement..

Another possible option is to postpone key decisions concerning Ukrainian issues until the beginning of 2024 in the hopes that the situation changes for the better. However, this would send a signal about a lack of unity among the EU members, and the forthcoming European elections (in June 2024) may also start affecting the discussion.


  • Recently, Orban wrote a letter to the president of the European Council in which he threatened to block the EU’s aid for Ukraine and Ukraine’s EU accession if the EU leaders did not agree to review the whole strategy of their support for Kyiv.
  • The leaders of the EU member states will consider these issues at the summit on 14-15 December.
  • The Hungarian government also announced "consultations" with the population, the main question of which would be the support of Ukraine’s EU membership.

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