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PM Morawiecki writes a letter to EU leaders regarding rule of law

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Polish prime minister accuses opposition of lying about "Polexit"
Polish prime minister accuses opposition of lying about "Polexit"TVN24
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TVN24Polish prime minister accuses opposition of lying about "Polexit"

"I wish to reassure you that Poland remains a loyal member of the European Union," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a letter to the Heads of Governments and the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. "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," Morawiecki added.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday extended a letter to European Union leaders, including president and prime ministers of EU member states. "I wish to reassure you that Poland remains a loyal member of the European Union. A European Union that is an organization based on common Treaties, established by all Member States which have entrusted a number of competences to common institutions and have jointly regulated many areas of life through European law. Poland respects this law and recognizes its primacy over national laws, pursuant to all our obligations under the Treaty on European Union," Morawiecki said in the letter.

He further added, that "Poland fully respects European law, as well as the judgments of the Court of Justice, like any other Member State". "The obligation for each Member State to respect EU law derives directly from the Treaties – we are obliged to do so to the extent required in the Treaties. Not one iota less – and not one iota more".

"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. We ought to be anxious about the 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," Morawiecki argued.

"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," Poland's prime minister wrote.

In the letter Morawiecki also asked the EU leaders "to hear Polish arguments, to refer to them, and to be open to dialogue". "I truly believe that together, in the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, without imposing one’s will on others, we can find a solution that will strengthen our European Union," he appealed.

READ THE FULL LETTER WRITTEN BY PRIME MINISTER MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI HERE

Unequal treatment of Poland

Brussels has long said reforms introduced by Poland's right-wing government undermine judicial independence, but their row escalated this month when the Polish Constitutional Tribunal challenged a key tenet of EU integration by ruling that parts of the European treaties were incompatible with the constitution. This fuelled talk of a potential "Polexit", but Morawiecki says his government has no intention of following Britain's example and taking Poland out of the EU.

In a move sure to further raise tensions, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro urged his government on Monday to take legal action against Germany over what he said was a politicised system of choosing judges in the bloc's largest nation.

Ziobro, architect of Poland's judicial overhaul and leader of an arch-conservative junior partner in Morawiecki's government, has often complained of what he sees as the EU's unequal treatment of Poland. "Since the EU is based on the equality of all states and citizens, it is necessary to check the situation in Germany, where the selection of judges to the counterpart of the Supreme Court is entirely political," Ziobro told a news conference.

German situation "irrelevant"

Ziobro said that while top court judges in Germany are selected by politicians, in Poland judges themselves are more responsible for the selection process. However, critics say that the body that appoints judges in Poland has come under political influence. The German government's press office and a Polish government spokesman did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Laurent Pech, professor of European law at Middlesex University, London, said references to the situation in Germany were "irrelevant". "The references to the situation in Germany or elsewhere should be seen for what they are: to distract Polish citizens from the repeated violations of the Polish Constitution in order to create a de facto autocratic one-party system where judges and prosecutors can be punished at will." Poland's government says its judicial reforms are necessary to remove the vestiges of communist rule in the country.

READ THE FULL LETTER WRITTEN BY PRIME MINISTER MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI HERE

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

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