In a column for the Austrian newspaper’s website, journalist and author Karl-Peter Schwarz questioned the rationale of politicians and journalists who "intend to give the Polish, Hungarian and Slovenian people lessons in democracy and the rule of law,” according to Polish online daily dziennik.pl.
“Shouldn’t Germans and Austrians be verbally defusing the dispute, instead of fanning the flames?,” Schwarz asked in his piece, entitled “Poland at the forefront of a European counter-revolution,” as quoted by the Polish news outlet on Thursday.
He argued that any declarations of guilt on the part of Germans and Austrians, for the crimes committed by their forefathers in Poland and other countries, “lose credibility when you threaten those states and blackmail their governments," dziennik.pl reported.
“The current conflict with Poland concerns the primacy of EU law over national, including constitutional, law,” Schwarz said.
"This primacy is not enshrined in the EU’s Treaties, but flows from the verdicts issued by the bloc’s Court of Justice (CJEU),” he added.
Having ratified the Lisbon Treaty, “Poland must recognise the primacy of the CJEU, but so should Germany, whose Constitutional Tribunal ruled that a buy-out of the European Central Bank’s bonds was unconstitutional in aspects approved by the CJEU,” Schwartz wrote in his column, according to dziennik.pl.
“Yet Poland is citing the German case in vain, for in the EU there are first-class, second-class and third-class members,” he argued.
Schwarz also wrote was that EU law “from the outset was political in nature” because its aim was ever closer integration, as reflected in Article 1 of the Lisbon Treaty, dziennik.pl reported.
It quoted Schwarz as saying that Poland was not the only EU member that was "disputing the CJEU’s role as the ultimate arbiter of the quality of the rule of law in member states."
Germany’s constitutional judges have also called for "constitutional pluralism," according to Schwarz, as quoted by dziennik.pl, while ex-Brexit negotiator and French presidential candidate Michel Barnier "is urging his country to regain legal sovereignty.”
Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal “is clearly calling into question a model of European integration in which judges force elected politicians to forge an ever closer Union,” Schwarz also wrote, according to dziennik.pl.
“The EU is facing a veritable democratic counter-revolution, a counter-revolution that submits for discussion the old, only superficially solved, problem of national sovereignty in the context of a confederation of countries,” he was quoted as saying.
“This counter-revolution emanates from the states of the Visegrad Group (comprising Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), but it is receiving backing in other countries, as well,” Schwarz concluded, as cited by the Polish website.
Karl-Peter Schwarz is a former long-time correspondent of various Austrian and German media outlets in Central and Eastern Europe, now a freelance journalist and author, dziennik.pl said.