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Escalation Of rule of law: Polish PM accuses EU of blackmail

Poland's Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki (R), said his country had been attacked in an "unjust" way

Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki (R), said his country had been attacked in an “unjust” way

Mateusz Morawiecki the Polish Prime Minister has accused the EU of “blackmail” in a hot exchange of views with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen over the rule of law.

This encounter in the European Parliament was sequel to a top Polish court ruling that dismissed key parts of EU law.

Mrs von der Leyen said she would act to stop Poland undermining EU moral principles.

Responding, Mr Morawiecki turn down “the language of threats” and accused the EU of exceeding its powers.

Poles with a great majority support being part of the EU, opinion polls suggest, but Poland’s right-wing nationalist government has more and more been at odds on issues ranging from LGBT rights to judicial independence.

The recent row has come to a head over an unparalleled and disputed ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that in effect dismissed the core truth that EU law has primacy over national legislation.

The case, brought by the Polish prime minister, was the first time that an EU member state’s leader had doubted EU treaties in a national constitutional court.

The head of the European Commission informed the European Parliament the situation had to be settled but she was uncompromising:

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

Mr Morawiecki of Poland’s ruling conservative-nationalist Law and Justice party said

“Blackmail must not be a method of policy,”

ANALYSIS: Polish court ruling stokes fears of Polexit
The tribunal ruling has raised anxiety that Poland – like the UK – could leave the EU in a so-called Polexit. But Mr Morawiecki has again and again maintained that the country has no plans to exit the union.

“We should not be spreading lies about Polish Polexit,” he told the European Parliament.

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