Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

EU leaders lambast Poland over its challenge to union

WorldOct 22, 2021 02:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivers a speech during a debate on Poland's challenge to the supremacy of EU laws at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek/Pool via REUTERS 2/2

By Jan Strupczewski, Sabine Siebold and Marine Strauss

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European leaders lined up to chastise Warsaw on Thursday for challenging the EU's legal foundations, but Poland's premier said he would not bow to "blackmail" as he joined a summit of the bloc's 27 nations.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was ready to resolve disputes with Brussels, though many are worried that a stubborn ideological rift between eastern and western Europe poses an existential threat to the EU itself.

"A few days ago, the legal bedrock of our Union was challenged," European Parliament President David Sassoli said in a letter as the leaders gathered in Brussels for their summit.

"This was not for the first time, of course, nor will it be the last. But never before has the Union been called into question so radically," the leader of the EU assembly said.

Long-running tensions between Poland's ruling nationalists and the bloc's liberal majority have spiked since Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled this month that elements of EU law were incompatible with the country's charter, challenging a central tenet of EU integration.

The dispute not only risks precipitating a new fundamental crisis for the bloc, which is still grappling with the aftermath of Brexit. It could deprive Poland of generous EU handouts.

'CLUBS HAVE RULES'

"Some European institutions assume the right to decide on matters that have not been assigned to them," Morawiecki said as he went into the talks, which come two days after the executive European Commission threatened to take action against Warsaw.

"We will not act under the pressure of blackmail ... but we will of course talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue."

His wealthier Western counterparts are particularly keen to prevent their governments' cash contributions to the EU benefiting socially conservative politicians who they see as undercutting human rights fixed in European laws.

"If you want to have the advantages of being in a club ... then you need to respect the rules," Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said. "You can't be a member of a club and say 'The rules don't apply to me'."

Leaders of countries from Ireland to France urged Warsaw to come back in line. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, referring to Poland's judicial overhaul that puts its courts under more government control, said it was difficult to see how new EU funding could be channelled to the eastern European country, adding: "We have to be tough".

An EU official said Rutte stood firm when the matter was discussed at the summit, but most leaders said decisions on how to deal with Poland should be left to the European Commission.

Morawiecki's Law and Justice (PiS) party has raised the stakes in years of increasingly bitter feuds with the EU over a range of democratic principles, from the freedom of courts and media to the rights of women, migrants and LGBT people.

The Commission has for now barred Warsaw from tapping into the 36 billion euros of grants and loans it requested from EU funds to help its economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The top EU court may also slap more fines on Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people.

For the bloc, the latest twist in feuds with the eurosceptic PiS also comes at a sensitive time. The EU last year made a leap towards closer integration by agreeing on joint borrowing to raise 750 billion euros for post-pandemic economic recovery, overcoming stiff resistance from wealthy northern states.

NO 'POLEXIT'

Morawiecki has dismissed the idea of "Polexit" - leaving the bloc - and popular support for membership remains at 88% in Poland, which has benefited enormously from EU funding since it joined in 2004.

But Warsaw, backed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, wants to return powers to national capitals and has lashed out at what it says are excessive powers of the European Commission.

"Poland is one of the best European countries. There is no need for any sanctions, it's ridiculous," Orban said.

While many have grown increasingly frustrated at failed attempts to convince Warsaw to change tack, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against isolating Poland.

"We have to find ways of coming back together," she said, adding that bringing multiple cases against Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union was no solution.

Her sway, however, is weakened as the veteran of more than 100 summits during her 16 years in power visits Brussels for what may be her last gathering of EU leaders before she hands over to a new German chancellor.

($1 = 0.8584 euros)

EU leaders lambast Poland over its challenge to union
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email