Poland

European Union leaders pressured a defiant Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki Thursday to fall back into line on recognizing that EU law trumps national decision-making, hoping that dialogue will stave off a fundamental crisis in the bloc, the Associated Press reported. Morawiecki instead painted a picture of an overbearing union treating its 27 member nations as mere provinces, usurping ever more powers and feeling free to impose its values at will against the wishes of sovereign peoples.
Read more
Poland's prime minister repeatedly came under criticism during a tense debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday, with the EU's chief executive warning Warsaw that its challenge to the supremacy of the 27-nation bloc's law would not go unpunished, Reuters reported. "You're arguments are not getting better. You're just escaping the debate," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, visibly exasperated with Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki after more than four hours of back-and-forth.
Read more
Tens of thousands of protesters marched through Warsaw and other Polish cities late Sunday to oppose a court ruling that European Union legal judgments have become incompatible with the Polish constitution, a decision protesters fear could prompt Poland to follow the U.K. out of the bloc, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Read more
The European Union moved Tuesday to force Poland to comply with the rulings of Europe’s top court with plans to seek daily fines against the nationalist government in Warsaw in a long-running dispute over Poland’s judicial system, the Associated Press reported. In a rare move, the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, said it wants the European Court of Justice to “impose financial penalties on Poland to ensure compliance” with one of the tribunal’s orders from July.
Read more
The government leaders of Poland and the neighboring Czech Republic held intensive talks Tuesday in an attempt to solve a years-long dispute that resurfaced recently over a Polish coal mine, the Associated Press reported. The Czech government says the brown coal Turow mine, located in southwestern Poland, near the Czech and German borders, is draining groundwater from communities and causing other environmental harm to Czech citizens.
Read more
Poland ratified the European Union’s pandemic stimulus package, overcoming a rift in the government to help open the taps for hundreds of billions of euros to flow to all member states, Bloomberg News reported. The approval banished worries that the bloc’s largest eastern nation could torpedo the 800 billion-euro ($961 billion) package after Poland teamed up with Hungary in December to protest efforts by Brussels to attach strings to the money based on adherence to democratic rule of law.
Read more
A Polish dispute over the European Union’s 750 billion euro ($892 billion) pandemic stimulus escalated after the government unexpectedly canceled plans to discuss its ratification amid a split in the ruling coalition, Bloomberg News reported. Deputy Speaker Ryszard Terlecki said on Tuesday that parliament may have to gather for an extra sitting later in April to meet the deadline to ratify the program. With Poland in line to gain 58 billion euros from the stimulus deal, the divisions in the coalition are turning into a major challenge for Poland’s de facto leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Read more
Polish central bank has ramped up its quantitative-easing program, buying the most debt at a single auction since July in a bid to keep a lid on borrowing costs, Bloomberg News reported. The purchases worth 3.75 billion zloty ($968 million) included 1.5 billion zloty of notes issued by state-run lender BGK and seven series of government bonds maturing from 2024 to 2030, according to auction results published on the National Bank of Poland’s page on Bloomberg.
Read more
Poland’s increasingly rickety right-wing governing coalition has split over the €672.5 billion COVID Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) — potentially endangering a project that has to be approved by all 27 EU countries before going into effect, Politico reported. The RFF is part of the EU’s €750 billion Next Generation EU package, aimed at pulling the bloc out of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, as well as boosting key priorities like the green energy transformation. The ruling United Right coalition is dominated by Law and Justice (PiS) with two smaller parties.
Read more
Poland’s government received an EU slapdown over its radical judicial reforms after the bloc’s highest court ruled Tuesday that changes to the way Polish Supreme Court judges are appointed may infringe EU law, Politico reported. The judgment comes amid growing concern about the independence of Poland’s judiciary, and forms part of a years-long legal and political conflict between Brussels and Warsaw over worries that the nationalist government is backsliding on the EU’s democratic standards.
Read more