Why EU is at risk of collapsing ‘brick by brick’ – how Brussels could SUE own Commission

Dutch MEP has 'sympathy' for Poland's challenge to EU supremacy

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Brussels and Warsaw have been locked in a tense deadlock in recent weeks as a Polish tribunal ruled that elements of EU law are incompatible with the country’s constitution. The tribunal ruled last month: “The effort by the Court of Justice of the European Union to interfere in the Polish justice system violates the principle of rule of law, the principle of the primacy of the Polish constitution as well as the principle of retaining sovereignty in the process of European integration.”

The question was submitted by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on whether the Court of Justice of the EU is going too far in its rulings on Poland’s judicial system and exceeds its competencies under the European Treaties.

The ruling is being considered a huge step toward a potential exit from the European Union against the backdrop of major rows between Poland’s rulers and the bloc’s big players.

However, the legitimacy of the tribunal is being contested as it follows appointments of judges loyal to the country’s ruling Law and Justice party – which is in itself a violation of Poland’s constitution.

It’s safe to say Warsaw infuriated the bloc with the ruling, with the EU scrambling to find ways to punish Poland for undermining its rule.

READ MORE: Why the EU is being accused of ‘blackmail’ by Poland

Ms von der Leyen responded to the ruling with three options for sanctioning Poland: legally challenging the court ruling, withholding EU funds, or suspending some of Poland’s rights as a member state.

Leaders from the European Parliament said they would launch legal action if the European Commission President refused to use the bloc’s “conditionality mechanism” to block funding to Poland.

Ahead of the EU Summit this week, David Sassoli, the European Parliament’s president, announced the plans to sue Ms von der Leyen if action isn’t taken against Poland – where support of membership is still incredibly high with the public.

He said: “EU Member States that violate the rule of law should not receive EU funds.

“Last year, Parliament fought hard for a mechanism to ensure this. However, so far the European Commission has been reluctant to use it.

“The European Union is a community built on the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

“If these are under threat in a Member State, the EU must act to protect them.

“I have therefore asked our legal services to prepare a lawsuit against the Commission to ensure that EU rules are properly enforced.”

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Esther de Lange, a Dutch MEP and senior member of the European People’s Party, of which Ms von der Leyen is a member, said the EU risked collapsing “brick by brick” unless Poland is brought back into the fold.

In a missive to fellow EU leaders ahead of the meeting this week, Prime Minister Mr Moraweicki called on the bloc to be “open to dialogue”.

He said: “I wish to reassure you that Poland remains a loyal member of the European Union.

“We are obliged to do so to the extent required in the Treaties. Not one iota less — and not one iota more.”

He also said the EU will collapse if it continues to “blackmail” Poland.

He claimed the bloc is “starving” and “punishing” his nation by withholding billions of euros in Covid recovery funds amid the ongoing sovereignty row.

On Tuesday, Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that the European Commission – the EU’s executive – was “carefully assessing this judgement”.

She said: “This ruling calls into question the foundations of the European Union. It is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

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