Budget stand-off must be resolved rapidly, EU's Dombrovskis says

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis takes off his protective face mask before addressing a media conference after a meeting of EU trade ministers, in videoconference format, at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, November 9, 2020. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union needs rapidly to resolve a stand-off over its 1.8 trillion euro ($2.13 trillion) budget and recovery fund, with funds needed to fuel a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission’s economic chief said on Monday.

Hungary and Poland blocked the adoption of the package on Monday because it included a clause linking access to money to respect for the rule of law.

“I think in any case we need speedy resolution of this situation. The money is much needed for European economic recovery,” Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told an online conference.

“As regards rule of law conditionality, it was something which the Commission has put forward already in its original proposal, so also something which has been discussed already for a long time.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop