BRUSSELS, October 21 – The European Parliament at the plenary session in Strasbourg by a majority vote on Thursday approved a resolution in which it called on the European Commission and the EU Council to immediately initiate legal proceedings over Poland’s violation of the principles of the rule of European law, as well as to refuse Warsaw to allocate funds from EU funds to finance the national reconstruction plan economy after the pandemic.
The resolution was supported by 502 deputies, 153 voted against, 16 abstained.
“The Constitutional Court of Poland has no legal force and independence and has no right to interpret the country’s constitution … Parliament demands that the money of European taxpayers not be transferred to governments that rudely, purposefully and systematically undermine European values, calls on the European Commission and the Council of the EU to act, including: initiate the procedure violations in the EU court, enact the provision on a conditional mechanism (financing countries from EU funds – ed.), refuse to approve the Polish national plan for economic recovery, the leaders at the summit to discuss the situation in Poland and adopt a joint declaration in the strongest terms “, – said in a statement following the adoption of the resolution.
The Constitutional Court of Poland previously confirmed the superiority of the republic’s constitution over the legislation of the European Union against the background of several verdicts of the EU Court, which condemned the actions of the Polish authorities. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, instructed to study the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court in order to take further measures. Both the heads of the EU bodies and the leaders of individual EU countries have already expressed criticism of this decision of Warsaw. Among the possible retaliatory steps, von der Leyen also previously named challenging the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court in an EU court and the use of a conditional European financing mechanism, which in practice could mean depriving Warsaw of access to EU finances.
The head of the European Commission and the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, spoke to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on October 19, where they defended their positions.
On Thursday, the discussion on the crisis of the rule of law in Poland is already being discussed by the leaders of the European Union at a summit in Brussels.
The leaders of the EU member states at the summit in Brussels in December 2020 agreed on a multi-year EU financial plan and a fund for the recovery of the European economy, which were previously blocked by Poland and Hungary. The claims of Poland and Hungary concerned the intention of other countries to link the allocation of money from the EU budget to the rule of law in individual countries. In July 2020, following one of the longest-ever EU summit, leaders agreed on a € 750 billion package to fund the recovery of Europe, whose economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency package is linked to the EU’s multi-year financial plan of 1.08 trillion euros and includes the possibility of providing concessional loans and subsidies to the Union countries.
Western and Northern European countries have pushed for the introduction of a “conditional mechanism” to ensure that the recipient states of the pan-European funds adhere to the values and norms of the European Union, and that the EU has a mechanism to stop such financing in the event of a departure from the norms. The “conditional mechanism” was introduced against the background of many years of disagreements in the EU, primarily due to the actions of the authorities of Poland and Hungary, which are criticized by Western European countries for the inconsistency of policy with the principles of the rule of law.