Biden's refusal to invite Hungary to the "Summit for Democracy" could be costly for EU-NATO unity
Washington's dislike for the independence of Budapest is well known. However, the non-invitation by US President Joe Biden of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the "Summit for Democracy", which is to be held by videoconference on December 9-10, could cost dearly the unity of the European Union and NATO.
110 countries and territories, leaders of states, human rights defenders and business leaders were invited to this virtual event, organized by the White House. The participants are going to discuss the problems facing democracy on our planet. Russia and China were also among the uninvited. However, this is not surprising, because Washington intends to announce new sanctions against Moscow and Beijing within the framework of the aforementioned "summit for democracy".
Among the uninvited, i.e. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Sudan and Ethiopia, as well as a number of other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, have also lost the confidence of the US administration. Therefore, it is difficult to judge what kind of 110 countries that were announced, but were never listed by the Americans.
As for Hungary, this country is now openly preventing the EU from participating in the “Summit for Democracy”. This is reported by leading Western (British and American) news agencies, which cite their sources.
For example, Bloomberg reported that at the last meeting of ambassadors of the EU countries, Budapest announced its refusal to support the joint contribution of the union to the "summit for democracy." Now the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the head of the European Council Charles Michel can speak at this event as much as they like, but on their own behalf, and not speak on behalf of the entire EU. Thus, whatever these functionaries say will be considered their personal opinion.
For many years there has been a conflict between Brussels and Budapest over legislative issues. From the rule of law to the work of the judiciary and the media. Hungary systematically frustrates various initiatives and attempts to work out a common EU position on certain issues. For example, this concerns human rights in Hong Kong and gender equality. All this indicates that the EU will not be able to present at the “summit for democracy” a report with an agreed joint position of all the countries of the union.
In addition, Hungary accused the United States of trying to "divide and subjugate the EU member states," urging the European Union to work on strategic autonomy. Moreover, a similar position of the Hungarians also extends to the EU's participation in the ongoing discussions on the creation of an "Alliance for the Future of the Internet" under the auspices of the Americans.
In response, the European Court said that Hungary is at risk of losing € 7,2 billion in funds allocated by the EU for reconstruction economics due to the effects of COVID-19. Brussels allegedly has the right not to channel funds from the general budget and the economic stimulus fund to those EU member states that are accused of deviating from democratic norms.
Separately, it is worth noting the obstacles Hungarians put up in the field of Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia on the way to NATO.