Jacques Serais // Photo credit: Andrea Savorani Neri / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP 07:36, 07 December 2023

Is the unity of the 27 around aid to Ukraine crumbling? While new aid will be voted on next week in Brussels, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made no secret of his desire to vote against it. Emmanuel Macron will receive him this Thursday evening at the Élysée Palace, with the aim of convincing him to remain united with the rest of the member countries.

It's a last chance dinner. This Thursday evening, the President of the Republic will receive the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, at the Élysée Palace. The meeting comes just a few days before the next EU summit in Brussels, where the 27 will decide whether or not to continue aid to Ukraine.

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Viktor Orban is very angry with Brussels

An important vote, which Viktor Orban could largely derail. So, this Thursday evening, Emmanuel Macron will have a lot of work to do to convince a Hungarian Prime Minister, who is very angry with Brussels. For him, at this stage, it is out of the question to validate a new budget support of 50 billion euros to Ukraine. It is also out of the question to open negotiations for Kiev's accession to the European Union.

The Hungarian Prime Minister sent two successive letters to Charles Michel, the President of the European Council. "A lack of consensus would inevitably lead to failure," the Hungarian leader said. A thinly veiled threat to derail everything, because in Brussels, the unanimity of the 27 member states is required.

A dinner that will leave a bitter taste in Emmanuel Macron's mouth?

Its vote is therefore essential to allow the EU to show a united face in the face of Russia. For Emmanuel Macron, this is the whole point of this nocturnal meeting. However, this working dinner could leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the head of state.

But once again, Emmanuel Macron wants to take the risk and try to demonstrate his power of influence to other European leaders.