On Monday, Poland and Hungary vetoed both. They claim the mechanism linking future transfers of money to the issue of the rule of law was part of an unfair ideological battle being waged by Brussels.
Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban called the conditionality plan a form of "blackmail" against member states opposed to immigration. Both countries are under EU investigation for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organizations, and with the condition in place they risk losing access to tens of billions of Euros.
And despite fears that imposing new conditions for funding could eventually lead to a break-up of the EU, the Netherlands and the European Parliament among others, refuse to accept the budget and rescue package without them. Nonetheless, the German EU presidency is optimistic about finding a solution within days.
Amid all the EU’s pressing concerns getting a Brexit deal done and dusted looms large. The European Union's Brexit negotiator says big differences persist in Brexit trade talks with Britain but both sides are pushing hard for a deal. Several European leaders are urging the Commission begin putting contingency measures in place though, in case a deal is not reached before the transition period ends on December 31.