With the EU finding its ever widening and ever deepening policy at risk following Brexit, Poland created waves within the bloc. Earlier this month, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled parts of EU law are incompatible with the Polish constitution. This led to angry reaction from senior officials, with Katarina Barley warning Poland it could be blocked from receiving EU funds if Warsaw moves away from EU legislation.
And now, in an open letter to the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament, Mr Morawiecki has raised other concerns – while acknowledging the importance of the EU – and Poland’s loyalty as a member.
Mr Morawiecki wrote: “I wish to reassure you that Poland remains a loyal member of the European.
“Poland respects this law and recognises its primacy over national laws, pursuant to all our obligations under the Treaty on European Union.
“At the same time, however, I want to make you concerned – and draw your attention to a dangerous phenomenon that threatens the future of our union.”
Raising his main concern, the PM said: “We ought to be anxious about gradual transformation of the Union into an entity that would cease to be an alliance of free, equal and sovereign states, and instead become a single, centrally managed organism, run by institutions deprived of democratic control by the citizens of European countries.”
Warning of how the future may unfold, Mr Morawiecki said: “If we do not stop this phenomenon, all will feel its negative effects. Today it may concern just one country – tomorrow, under a different pretext, another.”
Speaking of the power that the EU holds over its member states, the Polish PM was most concerned about the legal hierarchy within the EU.
Raising concerns about the ECJ following an interpretation by Polish judges, the PM said: “Polish courts would be obliged to apply the principle of the primacy of European law not only national laws of statutory rank – which does not raise any doubts – but also to violate their own Constitution and judgements of their own Constitutional Tribunal.”
Suggesting that this would place into jeopardy the entire Polish legal system, he went on to say: “Adopting this interpretation would lead to the conclusion that millions of judgements issues in recent years by Polish courts may be arbitrarily challenged, and thousands of judges dismissed from office.”
Reiterating the point of equality and freedom, Mr Morawiecki said: “No sovereign states can agree to such an interpretation. Accepting it would effectively translate into the European Union ceasing to be a union of free, equal and sovereign countries.”
The PM suggests that, “without any legal basis, there is an attempt to force Member States to do what the institutions of the Union tell them to do – irrespective of any legal basis to impose such demands.”
Speaking of how to resolve the problem, the PM stressed the need for communication and solidarity. But with Europe witnessing a rise in populism not seen for decades, the notion of solidarity could be a wishful thought.
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Already Brexit has shown that some are willing to take the risk and break away from the string pulling powers in Brussels, and the fact that the UK no longer falls into many of the pitfalls described in the letter by the Polish PM to the EU may just encourage others to consider the alternatives.
The PM ends his letter with a quote from the founding father of the European Union concept, Jean Monnet, remarking: “Make men work together; show them that beyond their differences and geographical boundaries, there lies a common interest.”
With groups in Poland coining the term Polexit, and in France the term Frexit, the future of the European Union, its institutions and ivory tower policies must quickly be reviewed if it is to maintain is so-called ‘ever closer union’.