Saturday, January 22

Poland rebels against European legality despite the risk of losing aid


Brussels

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Poland has entered a situation of open rebellion within the European Union, by inciting its Constitutional Court to rule that Polish law prevails over European treaties and on the judgments of the Luxembourg Court. The sentence was known yesterday afternoon after several forced postponements by the Polish judges themselves and places the European Commission in an extraordinarily difficult position. In its first written reaction, the Community executive made it clear that what is actually pre-eminent are the European treaties and judgments and warned that “it will not hesitate to make use of the powers conferred by the treaties” to defend them, which in theory includes leaving Poland without aid.

For the Commission, the ruling “raises serious concerns” for which “the Commission defends and reaffirms the fundamental principles of the Union legal order, namely: EU law takes precedence over national law, including constitutional provisions and all the sentences of the Court of Justice of the European Communities they are binding on the authorities of all Member States, including national courts. ‘

As regards the consequences of this decision, the Commission states that it is going to analyze the situation and that “it will not hesitate to make use of the powers conferred on it by the Treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law”. The statement of the institution that presides Ursula von der Leyen He ends by saying that “the European Union is a community of values ​​and of law that must be respected in all the Member States. The rights of Europeans under the Treaties must be protected, no matter where they live. ‘ In this sense, “the Commission has the task of safeguarding the proper functioning of the Union’s legal order and will continue to ensure it.”

The Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynders, which came out of an ordinary Council of Ministers that was held in Luxembourg, announced that the Community executive will use “all the mechanisms at its disposal” to impose the principles on which the EU is based and that in the first instance will go through freeze the possibility of Poland receiving funds for reconstruction of its economy after the effects of the pandemic.

«Didn’t you believe in ‘Polexit’? Did you believe in the decisions of the PiS? Well, they have already taken the next step on the road to leaving the EU. It is difficult to imagine a more serious breach of the obligations of a Member State than the ruling of the pseudo-court to the dictates of Kaczynski ”wrote on social networks the mayor of Warsaw Rafael Trzaskowski, who is a member of the opposition Civic Platform.

The mention of ‘Polexit’ may seem exaggerated, especially since in reality there is no procedure to expel a member country that does not want to leave on its own foot, but what had not been foreseen was a rebellion of this caliber, nominally dictated by the Constitutional Court, but encouraged by the populist national government of PiS, the Law and Justice party, which since its return to power in 2015 has done nothing more than strain relations with the European Union, including through non-discreet intervention in the functioning of Justice and that have cost him several files and infringement procedures and not a few sentences against the European Court of Justice.

Reynders acknowledged that they were “very concerned” by the ruling that contradicts the essential principles of the institutional structure of the EU itself. Although he insisted that before making a political assessment he wanted to read the entire Polish decision in full, the commissioner said that in these circumstances “I reaffirm that the principles we share are the basis of the EU” between it.s “the mandatory nature of compliance with the judgments of the European Court” and that therefore from the Commission “we will continue to defend those principles with all the instruments that we have at our disposal.”

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, was much more resounding in his assessment of the facts and made it clear in a public message that “the verdict that has been made public in Warsaw cannot go unpunished. The primacy of European law is indisputable. Violating this principle means challenging one of the founding principles of the EU ‘and urged the Commission to act.

The government led by PiS has long accumulated increasingly serious disputes with the European institutions on issues ranging from the threat against the independence of judges, freedom of the press or the rights of LGBT groups. In fact, it was the Prime Minister himself, Mateusz Morawiecki, who presented the case in the Constitutional Court in March, to try to escape these disciplinary proceedings, he wanted to show that Brussels has no right to interfere in the judicial systems of the Member States. The Polish government spokesman, Piotr Müller, wrote on Twitter that the ruling confirms the primacy of Polish law over European law, except in the aspects in which the country has ceded powers to the EU as a trade. “Today this has been clearly confirmed once again by the constitutional court.”

However, the primacy of European laws over national laws is a key principle of European integration, and Polish opposition politicians have repeatedly said that challenging it threatens Poland’s long-term future in the EU and also the stability of the EU. own block.

In addition to infringement procedures for violating fundamental values, the Polish Government also has to face the fact that there is now a mechanism to link aid to the reconstruction of the economy, with respect for the aforementioned principles. This mechanism has been denounced by Poland and Hungary precisely before the Court of Justice of the EU of Luxembourg, although in any case the Commission has not approved the Polish reconstruction plan, which is a preliminary step for the disbursement of aid amounting to 57,000 million euros.

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