Pres. Michel-EUCO Summit On MFF & Ukraine Aid 1 Feb
European Council President Charles Michel has confirmed that an extraordinary EUCO leaders' summit will take place on Thursday 1 February 2024. The intention of the summit will be to try to reach an agreement on revisions to the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF, the EU's long-term budget), which is intended to include EUR50bn in financial support for Ukraine over the coming years.
- Hungarian PM Viktor Orban vetoed proposals at last week's EUCO summit regarding the MFF. In a reversal of pre-summit expectations, Orban vetoed the funds but effectively abstained on the vote to begin EU accession talks between Kyiv and Brussels. The European Commission had prior to the summit unfrozen a portion of cohesion funds intended for Budapest in what many saw as a quid pro quo that would result in Orban approving the aid being sent to Ukraine over the coming years to 2027.
- Hungarian gov't officials have called for the EU to unfreeze the remaining EUR20bn in funds allocated to Budapest, but the EU have argued that the 'conditionality' mechanism that is keeping the funds tied up due to rule of law concerns needs to have its credibility maintained.
- Some EU leaders have talked up the prospect of a deal being reached between the remaining 26 EU member states and Ukraine, but have provided scant details of how this could be achieved in process.