President Duda: EU interference in internal matters a "serious danger"
During his visit to Vilnius, President Andrzej Duda said the European Commission was interfering in internal matters of its members, posing a "serious danger" to the states. His Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda said rule of law issues should not be tied to EU funding and offered to mediate between Poland and the European Commission.
Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled last week that parts of EU law are incompatible with the Polish constitution, undermining the legal pillar on which the union stands and raising fears that Poland could eventually leave the bloc.
The European Commission's chief executive warned Poland on Tuesday that its challenge to the supremacy of European Union law called into question the very foundations of the 27-nation bloc and could not go unpunished.
Meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda in Vilnius, Duda said his country entered and agreed on a union of "free people and equal states", adding he wanted 'the European Union to be like that."
"I see a serious danger not only for Poland but also for other countries that the European Commission and the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) are trying to interfere in the matters of the member states that are of internal nature, in matters that have not been handed over to them (the Commission and the CJEU). The European Council should look into this matter," Poland's president said.
Lithuania's President said that, in his view, "it is morally harmful and not right to link law supremacy principles with financial resources".
"This is a very bad precedent, a very bad example. Even if it was legally possible, morally it would be a very harmful precedent that would do unimaginable harm to European Union's unity," Nauseda argued.
"We understand that today's situation is not on sight, but if our mediation or intermediation is needed, we are ready to do it. Because as long as this conflict goes on, the harm can be much larger than with all the other crises," he added.
Brussels has long complained that the Polish government is undermining the independence of its judiciary, but the court ruling has turned a stand-off into a full-blown crisis, raising fears that Poland could eventually leave the bloc.
Poland's ruling nationalist Law and Justice party says it has no plans for a "Polexit" and - unlike Britain before its Brexit referendum in 2016 - popular support for membership of the EU remains high in Poland.
Until Warsaw's clash with Brussels is resolved, it is unlikely to see any of the 23.9 billion ($27.8 billion) euros in grants and 12.1 billion ($14.1 billion) in cheap loans that it applied for as part of the EU's recovery fund after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters