Germany calls on Poland to "fully" implement EU law
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Foreign ministers from both Germany and France have issued a stunning ultimatum to Poland over Polexit fears. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian said that Poland must submit to “complete and unconditional adherence” to EU laws. This comes after Poland’s highest court ruled that the country’s constitution takes precedence over some EU laws.
The ruling on Thursday marked a major escalation in the tug-of-war between Warsaw and Brussels.
In their joint statement, the two power players in the EU said: “We remind you that membership of the European Union goes hand in hand with complete and unconditional adherence to common values and rules.
“It is incumbent on each member, and therefore of course on Poland, which occupies a vital place within the European Union, to respect these rules and values.
“This is not simply a moral commitment. It is also a legal commitment.”
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In a separate statement, France said a Polish exit from the bloc was now “de facto risk”.
The two EU member-states also fully backed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to issue a “swift response” to the Poles.
Ms von der Leyen vowed to “use all the powers” at her disposal to impose EU rules on Poland.
She said: “Our utmost priority is to ensure the rights of Polish citizens are protected and that Polish citizens enjoy the benefits granted by membership of the European Union.”
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Experts fear that the landmark ruling could lead to abrupt Polexit.
The final arbiter of EU law is the European Court of Justice, according to the membership treaties.
The decision also raises doubts around Poland’s £48bn in EU recovery funds, yet to be approved by Brussels.
Both Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki and Poland’s most powerful politician, PiS chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, insist Poland wants to stay in the EU.
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However, René Repasi, a professor of international and European law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said: “This is the furthest step towards a legal exit from the EU ever taken by a national court.”
Donald Tusk, the former European Council president and now head of Poland’s largest opposition group, has urged Poles to protest against the ruling at a Warsaw rally on Sunday.
He said: “The operation planned by Jaroslaw Kaczynski to remove Poland from Europe has started full steam ahead. If we remain inactive, nothing will stop him.”
Last month, one of Mr Morawiecki’s strongest allies Marek Suski talked up the possibility of fighting the “Brussels occupier”.
Another of his advisers Ryszard Terlecki said the UK had shown that “the dictatorship of the Brussels bureaucracy” could be defeated by leaving.
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