Poland is loyal EU member, Polish PM tells Italian daily

2021-11-01 15:21 aktualizacja: 2021-11-02, 17:24
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Fot. PAP/Piotr Nowak
Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Fot. PAP/Piotr Nowak
The EU is in a "difficult situation," but Poland remains a loyal member of the bloc, Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has told the Il Messaggero daily.

The interview with the Polish prime minister was published on Saturday which also marked the inauguration of a G20 summit in Rome.

"We respect EU law just as every other EU member state does," Morawiecki said. "But respect for the laws of the community does not mean that they are superior to national constitutions," he added.

In early October, Poland's Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling that challenged the supremacy of EU law, increasing tensions between Warsaw and Brussels. The ruling led to calls that EU funding should be withheld from Poland until it reverses changes to the judicial system that some claim undermine the rule of law.

However, Morawiecki said Europe should focus on real problems rather than involving itself in internal conflicts.

"We are still struggling with subsequent waves of the pandemic," Morawiecki said.

"We are only starting the process of reconstructing our economies after the crisis caused by the necessity to restrict our economic life (due to the coronavirus pandemic - PAP).

"We have not even started carrying out the recovery plan, and now there is an energy crisis looming," Morawiecki said, warning that elevated gas prices "have been affecting the pockets of ordinary citizens."

"For the first time in the post-war history of Europe, the next generations cannot be certain that we will ensure a better future for them," he went on to say.

Turning to external challenges for Europe, Morawiecki said Russia is using "gas blackmail" to exert pressure on individual EU members and accused both Moscow and Minsk of having instigated a migration crisis on the EU's eastern borders, including in Poland.

He also mentioned a change of strategy in Washington and new players emerging on the global scene which "aspire to become superpowers."

All these crises should lead to more responsibility in Brussels, Morawiecki said, adding that, instead, "the EU pays more attention to imagined problems than real ones."

"I have the impression that for many politicians the conflict with Poland is a comfortable alibi to avoid tangible action," the Polish prime minister said.

"The EU should abandon the language of blackmail, exerting pressure and punishing those that dare to have their own opinion," Morawiecki said.

Poland's conservative government has been embroiled in a number of protracted conflicts with the EU in several areas, most notably over the country's changes to the justice system which, according to Brussels, violate judicial independence. Poland insists it has the right to shape its own justice system without EU interference. (PAP)