On October 24th, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowed to take apart a disciplinary chamber for judges that the European Court of Justice found to be illegal by year’s end.
Still, he accused the EU of making demands of Warsaw with a “gun to our head”, urging Brussels to withdraw threats of legal and financial sanctions if it wanted to resolve the country’s rule of law crisis.
Morawiecki warned that if the European Commission “starts the third world war” by withholding promised cash to Warsaw, he would “defend our rights with any weapons which are at our disposal”.
The crisis of the rule of law in Poland has jeopardized the allocation of EU funding to Warsaw. Recently, the Constitutional Court of Poland confirmed the superiority of the constitution of the republic 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.
As a result of the conflict, Brussels has already postponed approval of a €36 billion package of measures to restore the Polish economy from COVID-19.
Several member states of the commission have called for additional measures that could jeopardize the tens of billions of euros paid by the EU to Warsaw every year.
“What will happen if the European Commission starts a third world war? If it starts a third world war, we will defend our rights with any weapon that we have at our disposal,” Morawiecki said.
Morawiecki added that any action aimed at cutting funding will be met with harsh retaliatory measures.
Earlier, on October 19, the prime minister said that Poland by the end of the year will liquidate the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, which the European Court has declared illegal. According to the newspaper, the move is aimed at easing tensions in a protracted dispute that has raised concerns over Poland’s exit from the EU.
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, EU 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 countries of the union.
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.
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