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Saturday, July 18, 2020

European Union: liberal "democracy" in practice


European Union leaders gathered on Friday to start hammering out a giant aid package to help their economies recover from pandemic crisis.


The latest proposal presented at the summit maintains the provision conditioning the granting of funds on compliance with the so-called the rule of law. The objections to such a solution were emphasized by the Polish and Hungarian parties. 

- The mechanism of combining European funds with the rule of law is another attempt at pressure on Member States, but not allowed by the treaty - said former Prime Minister Beata Szydło.

Countries that want to use funds for energy transformation will have to commit to achieving climate neutrality in 2050, as well as conditions regarding the "rule of law" - that's the proposal presented today at the EU Summit.

That means that the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at least at this stage, did not propose any changes on two matters, where Poland raised objections.

Poland was the only country in the EU that has not committed to achieving the goal of neutrality in 2050, because it could not afford it. EU leaders talked about this in December 2019, and due to the fact that Warsaw was not ready for this decision at the time, they had to come back to the matter in June. However, these plans were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic, but now the problem has arisen again.

- Climate neutrality may be for the entire EU, but Poland needs its own path to climate neutrality - said Polish PM, Mateusz Morawiecki.

This is a second issue about which Poland raised its reservations concerning the mechanism of linking access to all EU funds with compliance with the rule of law. Here, too, Michel did not propose any changes, leaving his proposal that the EU Council should decide by a qualified majority to freeze funds if deficiencies in respect of the rule of law would entail risks for the proper implementation of the EU budget.

Morawiecki already stressed that Poland does not want any arbitrary mechanisms that could lead to the fact that later "politically motivated states will make decisions for us in matters that we will not feel any obligations for."

Polish Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, said that Poland should veto this proposal. He explains that by agreeing to the proposed mechanism, "we give the EC enormous power, because it is actually a transfer of the competences of the Polish government and the state to the EU."