Viktor Orban says he is fighting for ‘common sense’ at EU summit
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The European Union is embroiled in a furious row with Warsaw and Budapest over issues such as the independence of the judiciary and press freedoms. Tensions surged earlier this week when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled the country should not comply with demands from the EU’s top court, while the European Commission took legal action against both countries over LGBT rights. On Thursday, the EU’s top court ruled Poland should suspend a disciplinary chamber for judges it says fail to meet the necessary standards of independence.
This came after the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled a previous demand for the chamber’s suspension ran counter to the country’s constitution and that the member state should not comply.
Sharing a video of a spokesman for the European Commission reiterating that EU law has supremacy over member states’ court decisions, Nexit Denktank campaigners wrote: “The EU thinks that EU law takes precedence over national law, because a judge in 1964 said that EU law has supremacy over national law.
“Who in the Netherlands or anyone in the EU has ever voted for this (huge) transfer of power?
“I’ll give the answer – nobody – and this video also shows what those accusations of ‘bad rule of law’ are (partly) based on.
“If you are not obedient to the unelected and undemocratic EU, then you have a ‘bad rule of law’, while Poland simply listens to its own people.”
Reacting to the initial Express.co.uk story, one reader wrote: “Do as we say, not do as we do! That should be the mantra of the EU. Weapon of choice? The ECJ.
“Obviously you can trust the ECJ to rule fairly and not in every case in favour of the EU.”
A second person said: “I think EU citizens are realising that the Commission sees itself as not only the ‘upholder of EU values and rules of law’ but also the ‘Creator’ of these values and laws.
“The Commission appears to be creating a role for itself that will only pay lip service to individual nations and ignore the European Parliament.
“As the Commission is unelected, you can see where this is going.”
Another reader added: “Dear Netherlands; voting is an abstract concept in the EU. You can cast whatever votes you want, but they will be ignored if they are not directly in accordance with the policies decided in Brussels.
“If you are lucky, you may get a second go at voting, but this only follows the same procedure as the first attempt.”
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Former European Council President Donald Tusk warned Poland and Hungary’s row with the EU could trigger a process that sees the bloc fall apart.
The leader of Poland’s main opposition party Civic Platform (PO) told private broadcaster TVN24: “If more of these kinds of countries are found who insist on damaging the European Union, it may simply mean the end of this organisation.”
Various polls have shown the vast majority of Poles still support membership of the EU, and there is no legal way to throw countries out of the bloc.
But Mr Tusk warned the risk of an eventual exit remained.
He added: “We will not leave the EU tomorrow, and the EU will not fall apart the day after tomorrow. These are processes that can take years.”
The row could see the ECJ inflicting huge fines on Poland or the other EU countries suspending financing.
Warsaw is set to receive around 770 billion zlotys (£145 billion) from the bloc by 2028; its nominal GDP was 2.3 trillion zlotys (£430 billion) in 2020.
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