NewsHungary blocks EU's 50 billion euro plan to aid Ukraine, sparking emergency summit

Hungary blocks EU's 50 billion euro plan to aid Ukraine, sparking emergency summit

There will be an extraordinary EU summit. Already in January.
There will be an extraordinary EU summit. Already in January.
Images source: © EPA, PAP | ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES
11:33 AM EST, December 16, 2023

The issue at hand with Ukraine involves a proposal to provide 50 billion euros in support.  "I am convinced and optimistic that we will fulfill our obligation of financially supporting Ukraine", stated Charles Michel, President of the European Council. He added that 26 member states have agreed to this so far.

Von der Leyen sees an opportunity and a need

Von der Leyen noted that the EU budget requires new means to respond to crises that the Community is currently facing. She stated that the existing budget for 2021-2027 was conceived before the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and its resultant inflation, as well as the crisis in the Middle East.

She pointed out that, despite these circumstances, the EU has endeavored to respond to every crisis. However, she stated that "we have reached our limit."

 That's why in June, the EC considered bolstering the EU budget. We identified clear priorities. "Our top priority is supporting Ukraine, then addressing migration, and enhancing the EU's competitiveness", including, among other things, a response to the American Inflation Reduction Act - she added. She also mentioned that the EU budget needs to adapt to rising interest rates.

Ukraine will receive 1.5 billion euros

26 member states have endorsed these priorities and agreed to provide additional financing to achieve them. "I thank them for their support. This is a positive outcome. The agreement also takes into consideration the concerns of Member States about their national budget constraints. The agreement provides for shifts and changing priorities, as well as new funding sources. These combined factors necessitate difficult decisions. We made these decisions, however, we failed to reach a consensus. Hungary could not support us. For this reason, another meeting will be held early next year. Until then, the European Commission will ensure that irrespective of the outcomes of this next EU Summit, we will have effective operational solutions in place", she said.

She also announced that the European Commission will disburse an additional 1.5 billion euros to Ukraine under existing agreements in the coming days.

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