During a tense debate in the European Parliament, Mateusz Morawiecki claimed that the European Court of Justice was responsible for a “creeping revolution” which threatened to undermine Poland’s sovereignty.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki attacked EU leaders at European Parliament session, telling Ursula von der Leyen “we will not be blackmailed” after European Commission president pledges to take action against Poland after the country’s highest court ruled in October 7 that key elements of EU law were incompatible with the Polish constitution.
During a tense debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Morawiecki argued that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was responsible for a “creeping revolution” that threatened to undermine Poland’s sovereignty.
“The competences of the EU have clear limits, we must not remain silent when these limits are crossed. So we say yes to European universalism, but we say no to European centralism, ”said Morawiecki.
“The rule of EU law does not extend to the constitutional system. The Polish constitution is the highest legal act in Poland; it is above any other principle of law.
Common values at risk
Von der Leyen, who spoke to Morawiecki, said the ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court had called into question the foundation of the EU and was a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.
“This is the first time that a court in a member state has found EU treaties incompatible with a national constitution,” she continued. “We cannot and will not allow our shared values to be endangered. “
She told Parliament that the Commission would use all the tools at its disposal, including financial sanctions to protect the EU budget against rule of law violations, as well as the Article 7 procedure, which determines a serious violation of EU values.
It was supported by Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia (the country currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU), who told Parliament that the rule of EU law is the foundation of the EU and the basis of living together in a European home community.
“The Council is debating the rule of law intensely and the Presidency is committed to advancing the Article 7 process,” said Logar.
Locked in the battle
Poland’s ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS) has been engaged in a five-year battle with the European Commission, backed by the European Parliament, over changes to the country’s judicial system, which Brussels says has seen its independence compromised.
The Commission had previously triggered Article 7 against Poland in 2018, but the procedure, which requires unanimity from all EU members, has remained blocked in the Council.
Parliament will vote on October 21 a resolution which “deeply deplores the decision of the illegitimate ‘constitutional court’ of October 7, 2021, as an attack on the European community of values and laws as a whole”.
The resolution is likely to pass, with the majority of MEPs growing angry at the Polish government’s attacks on the rule of law.
Terry Reintke, Vice-President of the Greens / European Free Alliance, told Morawiecki that “the majority of Polish citizens do not agree with you. They want to live in a strong Poland, part of a strong European Union based on the rule of law and fundamental rights.
Mr Morawiecki, the majority of Polish citizens do not agree with you.
They want to live a strong Poland, part of a strong European Union based on the rule of law and fundamental rights.
– Terry Reintke (@TerryReintke) October 19, 2021
Siegfried Mureșan, Vice-President of the European People’s Party (EPP), said Morawiecki broke Parliament’s rules by speaking much longer than the five minutes allotted to him.
He spoke for 33 minutes.
He broke the rule as soon as he entered the European Parliament.
He broke a rule, he knew he broke it and didn’t care.
Everyone saw it
– Siegfried Muresan (@SMuresan) October 19, 2021
George Andreopoulos, professor of political science and criminal justice at the City University of New York, said Morawiecki had shown “quite the attitude.”
“Poland is flouting EU law and yet it wants EU money. It’s time for the EU to withhold the recovery money! He tweeted.
Quite an attitude from Mr. Morawiecki!
Poland is flouting EU law and yet it wants EU money. It is time for the EU to withhold the clawback money!
– George Andreopoulos (@GeorgeSpartacos) October 19, 2021
According to The BBC’s Kasia Madera, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has now offered to mediate between Poland and the EU, saying that tying rule of law issues to funding risks inflicting “unimaginable harm to unity. of the EU ”.
Photo: Mateusz Morawiecki addresses the European Parliament. Daina Le Lardic © European Union / European Parliament
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