Rule of law mechanism bypasses and replaces EU treaties: EU Affairs Minister

EU Affairs Minister Konrad Szymański has said that the regulation on the conditioning of EU funds to comply with the rule of law proposed by the German presidency of the EU not only bypasses the Treaty on European Union but is an attempt to replace it and it is done via secondary legislation.

“We have been bringing attention to the fact that the proposed solutions bypass the Treaty [on European Union] and, in fact, replace it, thus depriving [EU] member states of the legal guarantees that the states worked out for themselves within the treaty’s framework. Moreover, this is done via secondary legislation,” the minister said on Thursday in the Lower House.

“It is difficult to find a more glaring example of a violation of the rule of law than by changing the primary EU law with secondary legislation,” the official said, adding that “this would be tantamount to us wanting to change the constitution with a bill.”

Poland’s EU Affairs Minister also recalled that Poland was objecting to the rule of law mechanism during Finland and Croatia’s EU presidencies, which took place before Germany took over.

For his part, referring to Poland and Hungary’s announcement that they would veto the regulation on the conditioning of EU funds to comply with the rule of law, the head of the Polish PM’s Office Michał Dworczyk said that both countries “fight not only in the name of abiding by [EU] treaties but also, in a longer perspective, to make sure that EU continues to exist unthreatened.”

The head of the PM’s Office felt that the mechanism proposed by the German presidency of the EU violates EU treaties and that it would “sooner or later lead to the loosening of ties and perhaps even the disintegration of the EU.”

Mr Dworczyk stressed that Germany’s proposal to bond EU funds with the rule of law was “a change of rules of the game” that may lead to the weakening of the EU.

“The EU was created many years ago as a community of states that treated each other as subjects and in a partner-like manner, states that were supposed to function on fair rules. Today, some of these states try to change it, imposing their will while breaking treaties. This will, sooner or later, lead to the loosening of ties and perhaps even the disintegration of the EU,” he said.

Asked whether the German presidency can exclude Poland and Hungary from the EU’s budget, Mr Dworczyk replied that “one can imagine various ideas that would come as an attempt at breaking the treaties.” Nevertheless, he expressed his belief that such a scenario would not manifest, adding that it was the Polish government’s intention to resolve the issue via dialogue, whereas “the Polish national interest must not be sacrificed, regardless of its partners’ stance.”

“The EU constitutes a group of states treating each other as partners, not a group given to blackmailing or carrying out singular projects of EU clerks at the expense of other states,” the head of the PM’s office recapitulated.

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