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Brussels gains support for further legal action in conflict with Poland

European leaders have warned Poland that they are ready to take further legal sanctions against Warsaw in response to their rebellion against EU law.

In the first face-to-face meeting since the Polish Supreme Court decided on an important part of EU law Incompatible Under the national constitution, leaders have expressed strong support for the Commission’s pledge to fight back in Warsaw.

However, many leaders also called for prioritizing political dialogue alongside legal action, as it sought to alleviate the bitter lines that raised concerns that Poland could eventually leave the union. ..

After the EU summit in Brussels, known as the European Council, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte received a clear message from an overwhelming group of leaders around the table that he was very worried about the situation in Poland. There was. ” Closed on Thursday night.

“It was a dialogue tonight, but at the same time, we clearly understand that we will fully support the Commission in taking the necessary steps and responding to what the Polish government is doing.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was prominent in her search for the calmness of the aggressive rhetoric that characterizes the controversy. Arriving in Brussels on Thursday before the summit, she said 27 EU member states needed to find a way to “reunite”.

EU countries have expressed different priorities when considering how to confront the decisions of the Polish Constitutional Court. This ruling was seen as a direct challenge to the union’s legal order.

The controversy after a five-year round trip between Warsaw and Brussels over the challenge of judicial independence by the ruling party law and the Justice Party (PiS) Poland’s future in the EU..

In a two-hour discussion on the rule of law on Thursday night, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Brussels weighs using three tools in response to Warsaw’s actions. Was repeated.

These include legal objections, mechanisms that may reduce EU funding to Poland, and an extension of the sanctions process that may deprive a country of its EU voting rights. The most important issue emphasized by Von der Leyen was the threat to domestic judicial independence.

That approach was widely supported. “It was good that so many people expressed themselves more or less in line with the president’s policy,” said a senior EU diplomat. “I wanted to make this group bigger, but that’s the situation. “He added.

“European Council members have an absolute rule of law and judicial independence,” one EU official emphasized that legal and institutional means are available and “may still be activated.” I’m confident that it’s basically basic. ”

However, many leaders have also expressed their willingness to pursue political dialogue. “We are grateful for the fact that serious leaders are trying to understand the sensitivities of the situation,” said one Polish official briefed on the talks.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who was asked to open a debate on the rule of law, said the dispute between Warsaw and Brussels was not to ignore EU law, but to the block’s body exercising power over its member states. He told fellow leaders to challenge what he believed to be an example. Granted.

Poland was not “threatening” by the EU, and he was warlike to the European Parliament on Tuesday, repeating much of his central argument that the Commission misinterpreted the decision of the Polish court. I spoke in a much more reconciling way than the speech. Said.

Merkel said the Polish issue is a sign of a broader issue of how Member States view the EU and how much sovereignty they will take over. “It’s certainly a problem between Poland and the EU, but it’s also being discussed in other member states,” she said before the meeting.

The tone of her reconciliation was repeated by several other leaders. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez looks for a “constructive way to find a solution” to a very complex situation, while Poland needs to recognize the role of the Commission as a guardian of the EU Treaty. Said he was.

The European Council Chairman Charles Michel said that the EU needs not only to be “firm” on the principles of the rule of law, but also to “dialogue to achieve positive results.”

The EU is not unified on what to do with Poland, and there are concerns about respect for the core union principles in some member states, including Hungary and Slovenia.

Questions about the superiority of EU law have been raised in other countries, including Germany, and last year the Constitutional Court acted beyond its authority in a proceeding related to the purchase of bonds by the European Central Bank. I decided.

However, Poland is the only country where the head of government has asked the Constitutional Court about the superiority of EU law.

The summit also focused on the recent rise in European energy prices, the diverse trends in Covid-19 cases between EU member states, and the outlook for European trade policy. It will continue on Friday with planned discussions on migration and digital policies.

Additional report by Guy Chazan in Berlin and Javier Espinoza in Brussels

Brussels gains support for further legal action in conflict with Poland

Source link Brussels gains support for further legal action in conflict with Poland

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