Thursday, September 2, 2021

Poland may not receive recovery money from EU unless it accepts primacy of EU law

European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Wednesday that Poland's challenge to the primacy of European Union law over national law is holding up the release of 57 billion euros in EU recovery funds. 

Poland, like all other countries of the 27-nation group, is to receive large grants and cheap loans from the EU to rebuild its economy greener and more adapted to the digital age after the economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But each country is to get its share of the money only once the European Commission, the EU's executive arm and the guardian of EU laws, approves its national spending plan that has to comply with criteria set out in EU law. Except for Poland. Poland's spending plan meets all the criteria. Its belief that its constitution has primacy over EU bureaucrats' whims, at least some of them, is a problem.

Gentiloni, speaking to the economic and budget committee of the European Parliament, said that the latest move by the Polish government, asking the constitutional tribunal to rule whether or not the EU law does stand above national law, was now an additional factor holding up the Commission's approval for disbursements to Warsaw.

So much for the European Union's democracy and 'the rule of law.'