Poland will not accept “blackmail” from the European Union, says the Polish prime minister

Poland will not accept “blackmail” from the European Union, says the Polish prime minister
Poland will not accept “blackmail” from the European Union, says the Polish prime minister

At the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, the discussion is underway on the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court which on 7 October had established the supremacy of Polish laws over European ones, effectively denying one of the founding principles of the Union. The Court’s decision, which came following a question from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, established that any ruling or regulatory act of the European Union would have to comply with Polish law in order to be valid.

The Union had harshly criticized the ruling, and so did the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen today. In his speech on Tuesday in the European Parliament, Von der Leyen said: “We will not allow the values ​​of the European Union to be put at risk”, and announced severe punishments. Morawiecki, also present in Strasbourg, replied in his speech accusing the European Commission of wanting to blackmail Poland.

“Democracy is a principle that is respected in Poland, and that is what the European Union is based on. And that is why we cannot remain silent when our country is attacked in an unfair and partisan way, as in this case. It is unacceptable to impose one’s decision on others without any legal basis. And it is all the more unacceptable to use the language of financial blackmail for this purpose and to talk about sanctions. I reject this language of threats, warnings and coercion. I do not accept that Poland is being blackmailed and threatened by European politicians ”.

Von der Leyen said the Commission has three “well known” options available to punish Poland: infringement procedures, the application of the conditionality mechanism through which to prevent access to funds from the EU budget and by the Recovery Fund, and Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which provides for the “suspension” of certain rights of a member state, such as the right to vote in institutional settings, in the event of a violation of Article 2 of the Treaty (i.e. the one that among other things commits the Union and the member states to “fight discrimination, promote justice and social protection”).

In recent days, the discussion around the Polish sentence had also led to the hypothesis of a possible exit of Poland from the European Union, a scenario in any case very remote and currently very unlikely. On the other hand, the Commission is more likely to use the mechanism provided for in Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty to punish Poland. But in this case, to defuse it, it would be enough for Poland to agree with another state – probably another semi-authoritarian-led one, such as Hungary – to protect each other and avoid forced suspension.

– Read also: No, Poland is not about to leave the European Union

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