Spot on Top EU professor warns EU sovereignty war just beginning as states turn on bloc

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Štefan Auer, Associate Professor of European Studies, said claims of a growing backlash against the bloc were “spot on”. Mr Auer was responding to a comment piece in the Financial Times by commentator Gideon Rachman discussing former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s French presidential bid.

Mr Rachman said in his piece: “The backlash against Brussels is not confined to France.

“In different forms, it is cropping up all over the EU — from Warsaw to Budapest to the German constitutional court in Karlsruhe.

“The supremacy of EU law, a principle established in the 1960s that is fundamental to the European project, is increasingly under challenge.”

Writing on Twitter, Mr Auer said the commentary was “spot on”.

The comment piece highlighted how Mr Barnier has raised questions over French sovereignty and immigration since running for the French presidency.

The ex-Brexit negotiator has appeared to contradict positions he took during talks between the UK and the EU.

Mr Barnier has demanded France wrestles its sovereignty back from Brussels.

He has also suggested a referendum on the issue of immigration.

Mr Rachman claims in his comment piece that Mr Barnier’s move “says something important about politics in Europe”.

He adds that the “question of the powers of Brussels and the supremacy of EU law are popping up in other guises”.

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Mr Rachman highlighted how Germany clashed with the EU last year over the European Central Bank’s bond-buying policy which called into question the issue of sovereignty.

And Poland has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with Brussels after a court ruling that Polish law supersedes EU law when there is a conflict between the two.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was a “direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order”.

Last month, the EU’s top court ordered Poland to pay a daily fine of €1m (£850,000) amid the law row.

Sovereignty was a key argument in the Brexit campaign which saw the UK cut final ties with the bloc last year.

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