BRUSSELS – Senior officials from two founding members of the European Union on Friday expressed fears that a Polish decision challenging the supremacy of EU laws could trigger the country’s exit from the 27-country bloc.
France’s European Minister Clément Beaune insisted that the ruling handed down by the Polish Constitutional Court on Thursday was an attack on the EU, while Luxembourg’s Foreign and European Minister Jean Asselborn said the Poland “played with fire”.
They spoke out a day after the court ruled that Polish laws took precedence over those of the 27-nation bloc, which Poland joined in 2004. The ruling further escalated lingering tensions over democratic standards between the nationalist government. of the right of the country and the Brussels institutions.
The majority decision of the court – in response to a case brought by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki – said Poland’s accession to the EU does not give the European Court of Justice supreme legal authority and does not mean that Poland had transferred its legal sovereignty to the EU.
EU Chief Executive, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said she was “deeply concerned” by the decision and pledged a quick analysis of its significance before the EU act. She also hinted at possible trade disruptions with Poland.
The Polish prime minister called for the review after the European Court of Justice ruled in March that new Polish regulations for the appointment of Supreme Court judges could violate EU law. The ruling forced the Polish government to abolish rules that gave politicians influence over judicial appointments. To date, Poland has not done so.
Beaune has said he does not want Poland to leave, echoing a sentiment widely shared in Brussels and Poland, where Morawiecki recently called potential fake news “Polexit”. Some 80% of Poles support EU membership.
The Polish Senate on Friday adopted a resolution declaring that the upper house of parliament “will guard the national interests which lie in Poland’s continued presence in the European Union”.
The resolution says it is the court’s decision that conflicts with the Polish constitution and expresses concerns that an opinion issued by a court “controlled by the ruling party is a legislative prelude to bringing Poland out. of “the EU
Information for this article was provided by Monika Scislowska, Angela Charlton, Geir Moulson and Mark Carlson of The Associated Press.