The European Parliament intends to adopt another resolution on the rule of law in Poland

The state of the rule of law in Poland and Hungary – in the context of the Article 7 proceedings – was the subject of debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday (3.5.22). The situation in Poland continues to raise serious concerns. Today I am unable to report on the new positive trends in the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, said Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice of the European Union. He stressed that new plans to settle Poland’s judiciary structure will be closely evaluated by the Commission in terms of EU law and rulings by the CJEU.

In his article “Members of the European Parliament: The Struggle for the Rule of Law Despite the War”, Thomas Bielecki states that for several years the European Parliament has been debating – without significant effects – about the endangered state of law in Poland, but now a new element is the calls of the ruling camp have stopped To contact Brussels because of the war in Ukraine to deal with the independence of the judiciary. Joachim Brodzinski (PiS), speaking on behalf of the conservative faction, said Poland is now “on the lips of the whole world” because of its solidarity with refugees and its key role in helping Ukraine. Meanwhile, with its attacks on Poland, the European West is trying – as Brodzinsky argued – to silence its conscience, because it was “French and German politicians who got on the phone with a war criminal” Putin. Brudziński asked the French how they felt during such a debate about France on their national holiday, even though representatives of the French presidency – criticizing other MEPs – did not make an exceptional appearance at the May 3 debate.

Representatives of the major factions argued with demands that the rule of law should be pardoned for Ukraine. I am amazed at the voices that say that during the war in Ukraine we should relax our rules in defense of democracy in Europe. It is exactly the opposite. After Putin’s invasion, we fell into a broader struggle between tyranny and democracy, between Putin’s model and our European model, between tyranny and freedom, between brute force and the rule of law. That is why we cannot soften our principles, if we are to win, argued Slovak MP Michal Simica, on behalf of the “Renewed Europe” (including Poland 2050) faction.

Also, the Dutchman, Jeroen Lenners, argued on behalf of the European People’s Party (including the Workers’ Party and the United Socialist Party), with pleas to “stop disturbing Hungary and Poland with rule of law measures, when Poles and Hungarians make such great efforts to accept Ukrainians as refugees.” “When Ukrainians fight or die for freedom, democracy and the rule of law, it would be ironic to turn a blind eye to the attack on the same values ​​in our union,” said Liners. In addition, the MEP, Katarina Barley, on behalf of the center-left, noted that the election campaigns in Hungary over the past nine years were conducted in very unequal conditions, and in Poland seven years ago there was an attack on the independence of the judiciary. . Despite this, representatives of other EU countries are unable – as Parly argued – to respond correctly, although the Ukrainians who are now fighting to sacrifice their lives for European values ​​also look at the EU.

As the European Parliament, we ask the Council of the European Union to finally address the continuation of the Article 7 proceedings rather than further pointless hearings and to state that there is a clear risk of a serious violation of the rule of law and European values ​​by Poland and Hungary. Parly said the EU Council should adopt specific recommendations for both countries.

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On Thursday, the European Parliament plans to adopt another resolution on Poland and Hungary, urging EU governments to act under Article 7. The imposition of sanctions is subject to the requirement – an elusive consensus – but most MEPs want the EU Council to start crafting time-bound remedial recommendations. Final specific to Poland and Hungary. Most of 22 of the 27 EU countries are required to accept it. However, even if this threshold is reached, the recommendation will in fact be nothing more than a new form of political pressure, while Commissioner Reynders reminded MEPs that the European Commission launched a “money for the rule of law” measure against Hungary last week, and the Polish punishment is increasing For non-compliance with the CJEU decision on the muzzle law by one million euros per day (in total, it is already nearly 100 million euros), and last fall anti-violation proceedings against Poland began due to the Constitutional Court. It may also lead to a complaint with the CJEU, and subsequently to a possible penalty. – It is not only about undermining the priority of EU law, but about the lack of independence of the Constitutional Court – Reynders emphasized in the European Parliament.

However, in the short term, the most painful tool for pressure from Brussels is the frozen National Reconstruction Plans (KPO), namely €7.2 billion in support for Hungary and €23.9 billion in subsidies for Poland to be released gradually by 2026. Funds from each KPO must be allocated For specific programs, otherwise this complex will be lost. If the Polish KPO is approved by July, according to EU experts, then this money will be fully salvageable without “procedural courses”.

The European Commission wanted to approve the Polish KPO. However, almost at the last moment, the government of Mateusz Morawiecki demanded that Brussels, as part of the SWP settlement, withdraw from anti-infringement measures against the “rule of law” against Poland – this would require a boycott of the CJEU decision – liberating Warsaw from paying disciplinary chamber fines. The committee refused.

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