All Eyes on Ukraine at the EaP Summit

Democratic Security Outlook: 13-19 December 

13 December 2021

Top-level political meetings this week will not bring about any breakthrough but Ukraine and Russia will remain at the centre. Read our team’s outlook for this week.

EU/regional:

  • 13 December: French President Emmanuel Macron in Budapest for bilateral talks with Hungarian officials, followed by a summit with PMs of the Visegrad countries.
  • 15 December: Sixth EU summit of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
  • Britain will send a deployment of 140 engineers to assist Poland’s border with Belarus, as well as a small military team to Lithuania.
  • Joint statement by embassies of the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany and the EU has called the decision by Republika Srpska National Assembly to move forward on draft legislation that envisions parallel state institutions for the Serb-majority entity a ‘further escalatory step’ in the Bosnian political crisis. More background here.
  • American President Joe Biden promises to involve Eastern Flank countries in decisions regarding Russian troop build-up on Ukraine’s border, with the possibility of additional military reinforcements for Central European NATO allies.
  • G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement: united in condemnation of Russia’s military build-up and aggressive rhetoric towards Ukraine, calling on Russia to de-escalate, pursue diplomatic channels, where the response would be of severe cost.

Meddling Through

Hungary:

  • The Constitutional Court of Hungary has ruled that it lacks the competency to evaluate whether EU law holds primacy on national immigration and asylum policies. This soft-touch approach defers the judgement back to Hungary’s nationalist government while simultaneously avoiding the top court’s legal confrontation with the ECJ.
  • The Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday evening that it will postpone state investments worth 350 bln Hungarian forints (almost one billion euros) due to a growing budget deficit and failure to obtain EU recovery funds from Brussels.
  • Pál Völner, now ex-justice state secretary of Hungary, has resigned from his position after being accused of receiving 5,400 to 13,600 euros in bribes in exchange for help with liquidation cases. Völner will be able to defend his case in court after MPs vote to lift his parliamentary immunity. New appointee is veteran Fidesz politician Róbert Répássy.

Bulgaria:

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