Germany warns EU ‘cannot work’ if member states keep obstructing policy, as Hungary once-again blocks statement condemning China
Germany’s state secretary at its foreign office, Miguel Berger, has warned that the EU “cannot work” if member states operate on the basis of “blocking policy,” after Hungary prevented the release of a joint EU statement on China.
Speaking on Twitter on Friday, Berger accused Hungary of engaging in obstructionist behavior after the EU member state once again blocked a joint EU statement condemning China’s activity in Hong Kong.
Warning that the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy “cannot work on the basis of a blocking policy,” the German diplomat called for a “serious debate” among member states about how to “manage dissent” in a way that doesn’t stall the bloc’s agenda.
Hungary again blocked an EU-Statement on #Hongkong. Three weeks ago it was on Middle East. Common Foreign and Security Policy #CFSP cannot work on the basis of a blocking policy. We need a serious debate on ways to manage dissent, including qualified majority voting. @eu_eeas— Miguel Berger (@MiguelBergerAA) June 4, 2021
Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas has made similar comments in the past few weeks, describing Hungary’s actions as “absolutely incomprehensible” and accusing Budapest of blocking EU actions to protect its “close economic and diplomatic ties” with Beijing.
The comments come after Hungary prevented an agreement over a joint EU statement criticizing the Chinese government for its recent crackdown on Hong Kong. A similar statement had previously been blocked by the Hungarian delegation over concerns that “the EU already has too many issues with China” and shouldn’t continually condemn Beijing.Also on rt.com Hungarian PM Orban’s trip to UK sparks protests from Labour & Liberal Democrats, ignites debate online
During the last discussion between EU member states over the statement on the situation in Hong Kong, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to a statement from China’s foreign ministry, Orban praised relations between the two countries, while Beijing highlighted its appreciation for his government’s “firm adherence to a friendly policy towards China.”
Hungary has differed from the EU on other areas of foreign policy in recent weeks, refusing to join the other 26 member states in calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Palestine during their conflict that in May. The absence of Budapest from the EU’s foreign policy position weakened its authority, with Orban having aligned himself with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to prevent any critical actions being taken against Tel Aviv by the bloc.
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