Germany, France say Poland bound to respect EU rules

By The Associated Press

Warsaw: German and French foreign ministers have issued a joint statement saying that Poland has a moral and legal obligation to respect the general rules of the European Union, which joined in 2004.

Germany’s Heiko Maas and France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian published their statements this week in response to a Polish constitutional court ruling that challenged the supremacy of EU laws.

The court said on Thursday that the Polish constitution has precedence over EU laws in some respects.

“European Union membership goes with a complete and unrestricted allegiance to common values ​​and rules,” said Le Drian and Maas.

“These must be respected and complied with by each member state,” he said.

“Of course, the same goes for Poland, which has a very central place within the European Union.”

“It does not mean only moral obligation. It also means legal obligation,” the ministers said.

Some European leaders fear the ruling could bring legal chaos to the bloc, while many Poles fear it is a step toward Poland leaving the European Union.

Poland’s main opposition leader, Donald Tusk, called on Poles to defend their European Union membership at Sunday evening’s protests in Warsaw and other Polish cities.

Critics say that Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal is a political body in which many judges were appointed illegally.

They argue that the Tribunal has no authority to make a decision that could have huge consequences for Poland’s future in the European Union and its place in the West.

The tribunal began its review in March on a proposal by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki after the European Court of Justice ruled that Poland’s new rules for the appointment of Supreme Court judges could violate EU law.

The EU’s top court ordered Poland’s right-wing government to suspend the rules.

Jarosaw Kurski, the first deputy editor of the liberal daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborza, had a message for Poland’s government on Saturday as he called on people to protest on Sunday: “You will not push us out of the European Union! Will not deprive our children of their dreams and their hopes for the future.”

If you want to go east, by all means go ahead, but don’t drag us with you.

Meanwhile, a far-right leader called on “all patriots who care about the sovereignty of our state” to join a counter-protest in Warsaw.

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