Daily Management Review

EU Leaders Unable To Reach A Consensus On Renegotiating The EU Budget And On A Ukraine Aid Package Worth €50 Billion For Ukraine


EU Leaders Unable To Reach A Consensus On Renegotiating The EU Budget And On A Ukraine Aid Package Worth €50 Billion For Ukraine
The European Union opted to begin accession talks with the war-torn nation UKraine, but failed to reach a consensus on a financial aid package worth 50 billion euros ($54 billion), which Ukraine urgently needs to survive.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban denied the aid, dealing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy yet another severe blow after he was unable to convince American senators to authorise an additional $61 billion for Ukraine, primarily for the purchase of American weapons, this week.
The beginning of accession negotiations was a historic event and a startling reversal for a war-torn nation that had long faced fierce resistance from Orban and had struggled to secure support for its membership ambitions.
After deciding not to veto the membership negotiations, the leader of Hungary blocked the aid package.
“I can inform you that 26 leaders agreed on the (budget negotiation),” European Council President Charles Michel said. “I should be very precise. One leader, Sweden, needs to consult its parliament, which is in line with the usual procedure for this country, and one leader couldn’t agree.”
The EU's members have to agree on the decisions in unison.
Nevertheless, Michel, who was presiding over the summit in Brussels, referred to the initiation of accession negotiations as "a clear signal of hope for their people and our continent."
Zelenskyy hailed the deal as "a victory for Ukraine," despite the fact that it may take many years from the start of negotiations to Ukraine's eventual admittance. The triumph of all of Europe.
According to Zelenskyy, "those who never give up fighting for freedom make history."
Both the additional funding and an evaluation of the EU budget were blocked by Orban, making it impossible to approve the financial package. To enable its battered economy survive in the upcoming year, Ukraine is heavily reliant on the funding.
Michel stated that in an attempt to end the impasse, leaders would get together again in January.
Prior to the conference, Orban had issued a warning, claiming that pushing a decision on the Ukraine concerns could split the EU. All 27 members of the EU must agree on measures pertaining to both the expansion of the organisation and a revision of its long-term budget, which includes the 50 billion euros ($54.1 billion) in funding for the Kyiv administration.
In the end, Orban withdrew his threat to block the initiation of admission negotiations.
The start of membership talks, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, is a slap in the face to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Moscow is receiving a very clear message. We Europeans never give up on Ukraine," he remarked.
Orban stated that while he would not exercise his veto, he would not change his position because the 26 other countries were making such a compelling case for it. An abstention does not bar a decision from being accepted under EU regulations.
Because the summit talks were private, an EU official insisted on remaining anonymous, but stated that Orban was "momentarily absent from the room in a pre-agreed and constructive manner" when the decision was reached.
Orban stated that he resigned because all of his rivals were dedicated to guiding Ukraine towards EU membership, even if their stance did not alter his decision.
“Hungary’s perspective is clear: Ukraine is not ready for us to begin negotiations on its EU membership. It’s a completely illogical, irrational and improper decision” he said.
Others praised Orban's action. They had spent an extra day on Saturday getting ready for the summit.
“Certainly quicker than any of us expected,” Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.
“In fairness to Prime Minister Orban, he made his case, made it very strongly. He disagrees with this decision and he’s not changing his opinion in that sense, but essentially decided not to use the veto power,” Varadkar said.
“I respect the fact that he didn’t do that, because it would have put us in a very difficult position as a European Union,” the Irish leader added.
A slightly different opinion was expressed by De Croo of Belgium, who claimed that Orban "didn't use his veto because he realised that it would be indefensible."
Concurrently with Ukraine, the leaders of the European Union resolved to initiate accession talks with Moldova, Ukraine's neighbour.
"The EU's historic decision to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, a crucial step towards fulfilling their Euro-Atlantic aspirations," was hailed by national security adviser Jake Sullivan in the United States.
The news was greeted with cautious optimism in Kyiv.
“We are Europe. Ukraine is Europe, the center of Europe. I want us to be given the status of a proud member of Europe,” said Olha Paradovska, a 70-year-old Kyiv resident.
The 19-year-old Ivan Olezhko stated that it was past time to begin accession negotiations. "We don't know what will happen next, but if everything goes well, I will be happy," he remarked.
The catastrophic declaration came completely as a surprise when Orban chose not to obstruct his colleagues' action, as EU leaders had anticipated that the conference would last until late Friday at the most before any kind of resolution may be secured.
"This is a historic moment and it shows the credibility of the European Union," declared a grinning Michel as he unexpectedly entered the summit media room. The European Union's strength. The choice has been made.
He stated that before a report is sent to the leaders in March, the negotiations will begin.
Zelenskyy was in severe need of help, and the surprise came right after his pleading with the US Congress for greater aid this week in Washington, D.C. The president of Ukraine was hoping for a better reaction in Brussels.
“It is just as important that Ukraine has the means to continue the war and rebuild its country,” De Croo said.
In a video speech to the leaders gathered in Brussels, the president of Ukraine stated that the only thing that may be more pressing than the need for a solution is the possible damage to the EU's reputation.
“Nobody wants Europe to be seen as untrustworthy. Or as unable to take decisions it prepared itself,” he said.