Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has ruled out withdrawing his petition to Poland’s Constitutional Court, which has been asked to rule on the primacy of Poland’s Constitution over EU laws, arguing that Poland is a sovereign state.
Interviewed on commercial radio RMF 24, Morawiecki quashed all opposition hopes that he would back down after European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni threatened that unless Poland changed course on the rule of law, the country may face funding cuts from the EU Recovery Fund, which could amount to billions of euros.
Some opposition Polish MPs have argued that money is more important than democracy, while others have openly urged the European Commission to actually go ahead with blocking EU funds in the hope of being able to bring down the conservative government.
“There can be no question of our petition being withdrawn — we are a sovereign state,” said Morawiecki. He added that in his response to the European Commission, his government cited several previous Polish Constitutional Court judgements which have ruled that the Polish Constitution takes precedence over European law.
On Friday, Morawiecki also wrote in a post published on Facebook that nobody has the right to teach Poland what democracy is.
“Nobody will teach us what democracy and the rule of law are, because Poland has a very long and noble history in the fight against all kinds of totalitarianism and despotism,” posted the Polish prime minister.
Morawiecki has filed a petition with Poland’s Constitutional Court after a ruling by the European Court of Justice that legislation on the National Judicial Council which makes recommendations on senior judicial appointments is a violation of judicial independence – and, as such, this legislation is in violation of EU legislation.
Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal suspended its hearing of Morawiecki’s petition from Aug. 31 until Sept. 22.