Polexit fury as Russia overshadows Poland concerns in EU talks: ‘Enough is enough’

Dutch MEP has 'sympathy' for Poland's challenge to EU supremacy

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Poland’s Prime Minister arrived in the Belgian capital on Thursday hopeful to make some progress on talks with the European Union, but his concerns were overshadowed by an incoming energy crisis. The East European nation has been at loggerheads with the EU over the primacy of EU law over Polish law – an issue that has sparked a major crisis for the economic bloc. Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal declared earlier this month EU law is not compatible with Polish law in a move that was welcomed by Mr Mateusz Morawiecki.

The ruling was slammed by Brussel’s elite with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying it was “a direct challenge to the Unity of the European legal order”.

But she did not seem concerned enough about the further break-up of Europe to come to an agreement with Poland.

Last night’s summit wrapped up just before midnight, with EU leaders having to rush through their dinner after being locked in hours-long quarrels, mainly over energy. Leaders spoke for just two hours on the rule of law.

It comes as Russia has been accused of orchestrating the continent’s energy crisis by “weaponising” the flow of gas into Europe.

The EU relies heavily on imports of the fossil fuel and Russia is its biggest supplier.

Pundits fear Vladimir Putin has been turning the tap to gain political leverage against the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany, which is yet to receive regulatory approval.

And Prime Minister Morawiecki took the opportunity to lambast the EU leadership on Thursday, claiming the pipeline will allow Russia to put additional pressure on the bloc by making it even more dependant on the Kremlin.

He said: “The sooner Nord Stream 2 goes into operation, the easier it will be for Russia to exert pressure by means of its gas.”

The pipeline runs directly to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine in the Baltic, which according to some, challenges the national security of both nations.

Germany calls on Poland to "fully" implement EU law

The situation was further deepened after Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), attacked the EU’s “Fit for 55” programme.

The ambitious plan aims to cut greenhouse emissions across Europe by at least 55 percent by 2030 in a bid to tackle climate change.

However, ahead of Thursday’s EU summit, Mr Kaczyński has called for the plan to be revised or postponed.

According to the veteran politician, Europe’s increasing reliance on Russian gas has made anyone in support of the deal look “ridiculous”.

Speaking to Gazeta Polska on Thursday, Mr Kaczyński furiously criticised the EU’s handling of the energy crunch.

He said: “After the Russian action concerning gas, the creators and advocates of this Fit for 55 have, to put it mildly, made themselves look ridiculous.

“Energy prices have hit many EU countries with such force that their citizens simply will not agree to raise them further in the name of some unproven theories.”

Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister Michał Kurtyka has also penned a letter to the EU in which he called for action to combat the steep rise in prices.

A global thirst for energy and dwindling supplies of natural gas have caused energy prices to skyrocket since the start of the year, leaving the EU in a precarious position heading into the winter.

Mr Kurtyka wrote: “The scale of the rise in price is unprecedented, with more than twelve-fold year-on-year growth.

“This is much more than the rise in oil prices during the Seventies oil crisis.”

ECJ 'cannot ensure' Poland will use EU funds lawfully says expert

The situation has led to calls from the leaders of France, Poland, Hungary and seven other nations to overhaul the EU’s energy rules.

Many fear Poland is now headed down the same route Britain took in 2016 when it voted to leave the economic bloc.

Jeroen Lenaers, spokesman for the Group of the European Poeple’s Party, believes Poland has proven as much with its direct “attack” on the EU.

The Dutch MEP said: “It’s hard to believe the Polish authorities and the PiS Party when they claim that they don’t want to put an end to Poland’s membership of the EU.

“Their actions go in the opposite direction. Enough is enough.

“The Polish Government has lost its credibility. This is an attack on the EU as a whole.”

However, as the bitter row rages on, support for the EU does not appear to have waned in Poland.

According to recent polls published by Poland’s CBOS, there is overwhelming support for Poland to stay in the EU.

Figures published on Thursday show 90 percent of those surveyed were in favour of Poland staying in the EU, compared to only six percent against.

The poll found a two percent increase in support from last year’s 88 percent support.

The CBOS poll was carried out between October 4 and October 14 and surveyed a total of 1,161 people.

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