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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland has no problem with rule of law, PM says after EU summit

22.10.2021 22:30
Poland has no problem with the rule of law, but some European Union countries do not understand its judicial policies, the country's prime minister told reporters on Friday after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.
Polands Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Friday completed his participation in a two-day summit of European Union leaders in Brussels, where he announced new judicial reforms in his country and called for steps to tackle an energy crisis in Europe.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Friday completed his participation in a two-day summit of European Union leaders in Brussels, where he announced new judicial reforms in his country and called for steps to tackle an energy crisis in Europe.PAP/Marcin Obara

Speaking at a news conference in the Belgian capital, where Poland's rule-of-law record was among the topics discussed at a two-day European Council summit, Mateusz Morawiecki said the EU had extensive but limited powers, and could only function within competences assigned to it by member states.

"The EU acts according to the prerogatives it has been granted; this is fairly obvious, but I realise that recently we have been forced to spell it out,” he said.

New package of judicial reforms in the pipeline

He added he had told EU leaders Warsaw was planning a new package of judicial reforms.

"We won’t accept our judicial policies being declared invalid,” he stated.

His words came after Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled in a landmark judgement earlier this month that parts of EU law were incompatible with the Polish constitution.

The top court asserted the primacy of the national constitution over EU law and paved the way for the government’s judicial reforms, which, according to critics, politicise the judiciary, Polish state news agency PAP has reported.

Morawiecki said in Brussels on Friday that Poland joined the European Union in 2004 "on the basis of our constitution, which gives certain prerogatives to international treaties, certain powers which are sometimes quite far-reaching in terms of economic life, but not without their limits.”  

He added that the EU’s prerogatives “obviously” did not extend to policy areas such as “sport, health, public safety or border security.”

At the same time, he observed that Poland was among the most pro-European nations, and "firm believers in the transatlantic community." 

“I have confidence in this alliance of democratic countries which works for a stable world, towards ensuring peace, and naturally for the best economic conditions so that our citizens can grow,” Morawiecki said.

Call for probe of Gazprom as energy prices rise

Amid rising energy prices in Europe, Morawiecki told the media he had pointed out at the summit that the trend had been brought about by the dependence of many countries on supplies from the Russian state-run giant Gazprom.

Another cause is "speculation on the market for CO2 emissions,” he said.

He also said that "Poland has called on the EU to scrutinise the actions of Gazprom, which lead to the Russian company becoming a monopoly on the market."

Moreover, the European Council is expected to examine "speculative transactions in the emissions-trading system (ETS)," he told the news conference.

'EU’s external border must be sufficiently protected'

Amid a migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, Morawiecki said he briefed EU leaders "on the situation on our border with Belarus and presented the Polish stance that the EU’s external border must be sufficiently protected."

He added that this "was met with full support from fellow member states."

The Latvian prime minister and the Lithuanian president "offered an identical assessment," Morawiecki also said.

“In line with our expectations, the European Council will not accept any attempts by third-party countries to use migration flows as an instrument with which to put pressure on the EU frontier," he told the media.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP