The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday in which it condemned what it claims is an attempt to undermine the primacy of EU law by the Poland’s top court. The resolution demanded the suspension of EU funds to countries “which purposefully and systematically violate EU values” and called for the European Commission and European Council “to protect Polish citizens” who are pro-EU.
The resolution comes after a Polish Constitutional Court ruling which determined that Polish law supersedes EU law in areas where EU law tries to take on competencies that goes beyond the treaties. The Polish ruling has sent shockwaves through Europe and serves as a direct challenge to Brussels ability to control nation states.
Among the MEPs who voted in favor of this European Parliament resolution were members of the Polish opposition, including the Civic Platform (PO). Essentially, the Polish MEPs voted to cut off funding to their own country.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized on Saturday on social media that he is doing everything in his power to make sure that Poles did not feel the negative effects of PO MEP attempts to block funds to Poland.
“During the European Council in Brussels, I spoke with the majority of leaders from European countries. I give my word that I will do everything in my power so that Poles do not feel the negative effects of the intentions of Civic Platform MEPs concerning blocking funds which rightfully belong to Poland,” he wrote on Facebook.
Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk declared that Poland would receive the EU funds, which the European Commission is still blocking.
“I returned from Brussels yesterday and can assure everyone that no one in Europe is considering punishing Poles for the stubbornness of the PiS government. Poland will receive that money – I guarantee it,” he said on Saturday.
The chief of the PM’s chancellery, Michał Dworczyk, pointed out the double-talk in Tusk’s declaration: “The leader of the party voting against Poland in the European Parliament and who is pretending to fight for the funds from the Recovery Fund is an example of hypocrisy and cheap political theater.”
Government spokesman Piotr Mueller turned to opposition representatives with an appeal to clarify their position on the issue of EU funding.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please decide – do you want to suspend the money you voted for in European Parliament, or do you want to fight for it?” he asked.
The EU Recovery Fund is Europe’s financial response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis. The procedure to activate funding from the Recovery Fund entails the preparation of national recovery plans by member states and the improvement of resistance outlined by the states in their reform and investment programs for 2021 – 2023. The European Commission evaluates these plans, and the commission’s evaluation is later confirmed by the Council of the European Union (which represents the governments of EU countries) with a qualified majority.
As part of this program, Poland should receive €58.1 billion — almost €23.9 billion in the form of subsidies and €34.2 billion in loans. The government has until 2026 to utilize these funds.