Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has long been considered the most difficult customer among EU leaders, but now an entire EU summit revolves around him. European leaders had scheduled an extra summit in Brussels to persuade Orbán to finally approve new billions in aid to Ukraine.
The agreement came after a small group of leaders persuaded Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to revoke his veto over Ukraine’s financing. EU Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the leaders of France, Germany and Italy held a closed-door meeting with the Hungarian Prime Minister.
The meeting was then expanded to include other leaders, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and also our Prime Minister De Croo. Our Prime Minister is satisfied with the deal: “Continued unanimous support for Ukraine is essential for our European security,” says De Croo.
Ukraine desperately needs the 50 billion euros that EU leaders want to allocate in the coming years to keep the country afloat. According to EU sources, the government in Kyiv would run into payment problems next month without the aid.
But Hungary raised objection after objection and demanded at least the right to block aid every year. At the European summit in December, the 27 leaders managed to use a trick to circumvent Hungarian resistance to another gesture for Ukraine.
Large demonstrations of angry farmers from home and abroad are expected in Brussels around the EU summit. There are currently protests in many countries. The farmers are, among other things, opposed to European rules.