States that do not play by EU rules do not get ‘benefits of Europe’, France tells Poland amid row over law primacy
Countries that do not respect Brussels’ rules cannot reap the “benefits of Europe,” according to French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune, referring to Poland’s heated spat with the EU on whose law takes supremacy.
Beaune, speaking to French outlet LCI Thursday, lashed out against Poland’s ruling this month in which Warsaw declared some of its laws uncompatible with EU treaties. This was a decision that gave Poland primacy over other powers.
“Nobody is forcing you to enter the European Union. You can even leave it, as we have seen democratically with Brexit,”He said that, and added: “Europe is a sovereign and collective choice.”
Even the French minister suggested that Warsaw might be subject to sanctions. “We must first pursue a political dialogue, but if it does not lead in the end, there may be sanctions of different kinds, including financial.”
When you don’t play by the rules, you can’t get the benefits of Europe. The British tried and we didn’t let it go.
Beaune’s comments come after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned on Tuesday that Poland will face penalties for its landmark verdict while speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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As Warsaw asserts that Brussels lacks democracy, a European leader warned Poland it will be penalized for challenging EU primacy in law.
One option is to have Poland fined for violating EU rules. The other alternative could be that Brussels defers payment of EU funds. Third, the EU could suspend certain privileges in the bloc for Warsaw including voting rights.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended his country’s position after von der Leyen’s comments and said that he backed “European universalism, but we say no to European centralism.”Morawiecki, who was present at the Brussels-Warsaw showdown, resigned the following day and declared that the government would dissolve the controversial disciplinary chamber.
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EU risks becoming ‘centrally managed’ as ‘dangerous phenomenon’ of institutional action threatens bloc’s future, Polish PM warns
Beaune, alongside other European ministers, has been particularly vocal about Poland’s recent dispute with the EU. In the wake of the court verdict, he called Warsaw’s move an attack against the bloc and said that it was a “de facto risk of an exit from the European Union.”
Morawiecki insisted on Poland’s desire to be part of the bloc in spite of fears that it might become a Polexit.
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