HomeInternational organizationsEUBrussels offers options for punishing Poland for objecting to EU law

Brussels offers options for punishing Poland for objecting to EU law

The European Commission has set out its options – from lawsuits to withholding EU funds – in response to a ruling by Poland’s constitutional court that has called into question the rule of EU law, stressing the need to take action to protect the Union’s common values.

“The European Commission is currently carefully assessing this decision,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“But I can tell you now: I am deeply concerned,” she told the European Parliament in Strasbourg before Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki addressed the plenary session.

“This decision calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order,” he insisted.

She said that the first option is the so-called criminal proceedings, when the European Commission does not legally agree with the decision of the Constitutional Court of Poland.

Another option is the air conditioning mechanism and other financial instruments, where funds from the EU budget and its pandemic recovery fund will be blocked for Poland.

“This is European taxpayers’ money. And if our Union invests more than ever to help our collective recovery, we must protect the Union’s budget from violations of the rule of law,” von der Leyen said.

She emphasized that the third option was to apply Article 7 of the EU Treaties, according to which the rights of Member States, including the right to vote under EU decisions, could be suspended because they violated the fundamental values ​​of the Society.

“The Polish Constitutional Court, which today questioned the validity of our treaty, is the same court that, according to Article 7, we do not consider independent and legitimate,” she said, adding: “This is happening in many respects in a full cycle”.

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