The Polish Constitutional Court is violating the European Union by placing its own laws above the laws of the European Union. This led to a violent dispute over Poland’s membership in the European Union.
The decision of the Polish Constitutional Court, which stated that some EU laws contradict the country’s constitution, is now officially final. This comes after the ruling was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday evening.
In EU circles, the Polish decision is a possible first step towards Poland’s exit from the European Union. The court says significant parts of several EU treaties are inconsistent with the Polish constitution, NTB writes.
This weekend, massive demonstrations took place in Poland for fear of the country leaving the European Union. Now economic sanctions can wait, but could Polixit really be the new Brexit?
– The question is very good, but it is difficult to answer it, answers OsloMet researcher and Polish expert Jørn Holm-Hansen.
And the demonstrations, according to BBC It was held in about 100 cities and towns and gathered around 100,000 people in the capital, Warsaw alone, following the Polish Constitutional Court’s ruling last week that the country’s own laws in some cases are higher than those of the European Union.
In March, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked the country’s court to hear the case after the European Court of Justice overturned a reform of the Polish judiciary.
The European Union believes that the reform of Poland’s national government violates the principle that citizens of the Union should live under legal systems where the courts are independent of political influence. They see this as a violation of Poland’s obligations as a member state.
On the other hand, Morawiecki wanted to make sure that EU laws were not used to question the legality of changes in the judiciary. Critics believe that changes have been made to give the government better control of the courts, including by appointing loyalists as judges.
Ironically, the European Court of Human Rights has already concluded that one of the judges who last week granted the Prime Minister the victory he had hoped for was illegally appointed by the government, he writes The New York Times.
Many Poles fear that the recent decision of the European Court of Justice review may be a sign that the government wants to take the country out of the European Union.
– We must save Poland. Nobody wants to do that to us, said the opposition leader, initiator of the demonstrations and former European Union President Donald Tusk when he spoke to protesters in the capital.
We return to the question. Do we see the beginning of the Polish withdrawal from the European Union?
One might ask why Poland is challenging the EU system by undermining important rule of law principles, says Holm Hansen, before adding:
– I get the question a lot, and I always say that they will not leave, because the European Union is very good for Poland.
The European Union is rarely more popular with the population than in Poland in particular. They receive huge sums of money from the European Union every year, and many residents have been given the opportunity to get relatively well-paid jobs in other EU and EEA countries.
They wouldn’t have had it if they weren’t in the European Union, and that’s the money that ordinary Poles really see the effect of, says Holm Hansen.
hard vs hard
Of course, the government knows this, which would probably have lost a lot of support if they had started the withdrawal process. At the same time, according to the expert, there are a very large number of Poles who like the Polish leaders to be “strong” and advocate for autonomy.
It has become a kind of recurring circular dance where Poland takes two steps forward – and does something the EU doesn’t like – before they take a step back, until things calm down, Holm Hansen explains. Then the same thing happens again. This occurred in the context of discrimination against sexual minorities and on issues of climate and environment.
– So far, the European Union has not fought a difficult battle. They cannot expel a member state, but the question is whether they will try to disenfranchise them, says the researcher.
Admittedly, it is an arduous process to take away the voting rights of some members of the union. It requires a consensus among all member states that is almost impossible to achieve. In fact, a lawsuit like this was filed against Poland in 2017 and Hungary – another country with strong nationalist rule – in 2018. But both have stalled, according to the New York Times, in part because the two countries are protecting each other.
The Prime Minister himself calls it “fake news” the claim that the government wants to take Poland out of the European Union. Holm Hansen partially supports this, but still believes that Poland could now end up in EU problems.
– I don’t think he himself has a desire to report the country, but it is not “fake news” that what they are doing could lead to Poland in such a way that it ends up outside the EU by making the union tougher demands before they transfer the money, says Holm Hansen .
And this money, as mentioned, is very important to the nation.
The European Commission has imposed an effective fine on Poland for ignoring previous rulings of the European Court of Justice. They have also withheld funds from the Anti-Coronavirus Fund for the same reason.
Another possible penalty for keeping Poland out of the good company, although it is still officially a member, would be for other EU countries to stop various forms of cooperation with the country.
All of these things can be considered “polyxite light” – albeit involuntarily.
So far, the European Commission has not decided how to respond to the Polish court’s decision if it is formalized by the government, but they have previously warned that they will use all their power to bring Poland into compliance with EU legislation. .
“LGBT Free Zones” have been created in several places in Poland:
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