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After a prolonged dispute over linking EU funds to the member state’s respect for the rule of law, in early December, Poland and Hungary finally agreed to proceed with the bloc’s new budget and coronavirus recovery plan. The condition allowing the brake the impasse foresees postponing the implementation of the legal mechanism by 2-3 years.
But Zbigniew Ziobro and his acolytes were critical of the negotiated deal since day one. The leader of United Poland, one of the three parties in the right-wing coalition government, objected to accepting the rule of law conditionality mechanism, arguing that only a veto would allow Poland to retain its status as a sovereign state. –This is a mistake, a grave mistake. Everything we’ve been warning about for the past six months, since July, is now becoming reality, without even the slightest effort of Prime Minister Morawiecki to stop it – Ziobro said after the EU budget summit.
Taking to social media, he added: “The regulation is now legally binding and it will allow to significantly restrict Poland’s sovereignty. It will provide the European Commission with an instrument to interfere in the activities of the Polish President, the parliament, the government, and even local governments, in nearly all areas. The decision to adopt the regulation as part of the EU budget package without additional legal safeguards was a mistake. We have been consistently warning against such a decision since the European Council summit in July”.
On Monday, Zbigniew Ziobro announced that he will use the power of his office of the Attorney General to challenge the EU rule of law mechanism and ask the Constitutional Court to inspect whether the Commission’s regulation violates the Polish constitution.
- "As the Attorney General, I want to take the necessary legal steps to demonstrate that this regulation is unconstitutional on many levels. It will be very difficult, but I hope it ultimately allows us to prevent the mechanism from negatively affecting Poland’s future” – the Minister of Justice said in an interview with the catholic-conservative Radio Maryja.
In a Tweet, Ziobro also referred to an interview with the European Commission VP Vera Jourova published by the German daily “Tagesspiegel” in which she warned of taking appropriate legal action if Poland and Hungary won’t change their approach to the rule of law. The Minister of Justice commented by saying that “there is a risk that some of these actions could force Poland into changing certain aspects of its legal order”.
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