A two-day summit of European Union (EU) leaders begins today. It was originally slated to focus on issues including energy prices and prospects for a green pandemic recovery, but a Polish court’s decision that domestic law trumps EU law is now expected to dominate discussions (AFP).
Tensions have been building (Politico) over years of what critics from the EU view as Polish backsliding on the issue of judicial independence, an EU principle. The rift has led the EU to suspend pandemic aid to Poland and the speaker of the European Parliament to threaten to try to tie future EU disbursements to rule-of-law standards. Poland has accused the EU (AP) of being overly controlling.
“The political reality is that the EU cannot afford to go to war with one of its own member countries without putting its entire agenda in danger of being blocked, given that all crucial policy decisions require unanimity,” Politico’s Lili Bayer, Maia de La Baume, and David M. Herszenhorn write.
“The rule of law in Poland is an open wound. It is a long-term threat, which needs to be solved if the EU is to thrive. Just as a financial crisis in one country can spread to another, so can a constitutional crisis,” the Economist writes.
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