Politico: Polish EU presidency may start much earlier, at the expense of Hungary’s

In the wake of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s recent activism regarding visits to Kyiv, Moscow and Beijing in search of peace resolution to the Ukraine conflict, the EU states may consider the unprecedented step of cutting short Hungary’s presidency of the EU Council and handing over the presidency to Poland as early as the fall of 2023, as revealed by Politico.

As highlighted, EU countries are increasingly annoyed with Viktor Orban’s conduct. The Hungarian prime minister has visited several unannounced in the past week as part of what he called a „peace mission.”

The day after taking over the six-month presidency of the EU Council on July 1, Orban visited Kyiv. It was his first trip to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022. The meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was well received in the West. Still, the Hungarian prime minister travelled to Moscow three days later for talks with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, which drew sharp criticism from EU and NATO members.

Orban uses the rotating presidency of the EU Council to promote Hungary’s worldview. He is often at odds with most EU countries, especially on the issues of aid to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia,” Politico noted.

As said by Daniel Hegedus in X post, a Hungarian analyst at the German Marshall Fund (GMF) think tank, member states have the option of cutting Hungary’s EU Council presidency short and handing it over from September 1 to Poland, which should normally take over the EU presidency at the beginning of 2025.

According to Hegedus, the initiators of such a step should be France, Germany and Poland with the support of a large group of member states. As the GMF analyst added, this could also be fostered by tensions between Orban and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after the new alliance in the EP Patriots for Europe took over MEPs from the European Conservatives and Reformists, to which Meloni’s Italian Brothers party belongs.

At the end of June, days before Hungary assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU, the British Financial Times wrote about the possibility of boycotting ministerial meetings in Hungary by some EU member states.

 

Photo: X/siyahsancakx

Tomasz Modrzejewski

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