Finnish PM: EU members agree on budget link to rule of law


European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, shakes hands with Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, left, at EU headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

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HELSINKI (AP) — Finland’s prime minister says no European Union member including Hungary and Poland is directly opposing linking the bloc’s financial framework to performance on the rule of law in member countries — a proposal that has so far been fiercely opposed in Budapest and Warsaw.

Antti Rinne, whose country holds the EU’s rotating six-month presidency, told public broadcaster YLE on Sunday that the link to the EU’s next multiyear budget isn’t meant “to nail any member state to the wall.”

The issue is one of Finland’s presidency priorities and has led to tensions, particularly with Hungary, which along with Poland is already a target of EU disciplinary actions for alleged violations of bloc rules and values.

Rinne will travel to Budapest on Monday for talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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