Germany’s Scholz gets Órban to leave room for decision on Ukraine


As this month’s European Summit draws to a close, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that it was him who convinced his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Órban to leave the Council room temporarily during discussions on Ukraine – but Scholz noted that this cannot be a “universal solution”.

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This allowed the rest 26 leaders to take the historical decision unanimously. EU rules say  unanimity can also be fulfilled even if one leader is absent — meaning Orbán could still say he hadn’t voted in favour.

The unusual move raised eyebrows both in Brussels and beyond.

But the move, in Scholz’ own words, cannot become commonplace. “Things can’t be solved every time by leaving the room. This is for exceptional cases, like for example, the decision that we have just made,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a statement to media.

European leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel expressed confidence that they will be able to reach the consensus – or even to overcome the position of Viktor Orbán in the future – particularly, in the matter of providing additional 50 billion euros of aid to Ukraine, which Orbán did block.

Nevertheless, Charles Michel summarised the decision to greenlight the European way for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine as “a very powerful political message” and “a message of hope”.



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