Hungary comes out in defense of Poland by ruling of an EU court

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a government resolution on Saturday welcoming a ruling by the Polish constitutional court …

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a government resolution on Saturday welcoming a ruling by the Polish constitutional court that challenges the primacy of European Union law and indicts the EU institutions from overextending their powers.

In the resolution, the Hungarian government calls on the EU institutions to respect the sovereignty of the 27 member countries of the bloc, Orban spokesman Bertalan Havasi told the Hungarian news agency MTI.

Hungary’s statement of position followed a very different joint statement by the foreign ministers of Germany and France, who said that Poland has a moral and legal obligation to respect the common rules of the European Union, which it joined. in 2004.

“Membership of the EU goes with full loyalty and without restrictions to common values ​​and rules,” Heiko Maas of Germany and Jean-Yves Le Drian of France said on Friday night.

“Respect and compliance with these must be fulfilled by all member states,” they added. “Of course, that also applies to Poland, which has a very central place within the EU.”

“This is not just a moral obligation. It also means a legal obligation, ”the ministers said Friday night in reaction to the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court.

In a legal decision requested by Poland’s prime minister, the court held on Thursday that the Polish constitution takes precedence over EU laws in some cases. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki requested the review after the European Union Court of Justice ruled in March that new Polish regulations for appointing Supreme Court justices could violate EU law and ordered the right-wing government to suspend them.

The Hungarian resolution affirms that the malpractices of the EU institutions that ignore the principle of delegation of powers led the Polish court to consider the issue of legal primacy.

“The primacy of EU law should only apply in areas where the EU has competence, and the framework for this is set out in the founding treaties of the EU,” the Hungarian document says.

The resolution also establishes that the EU institutions are obliged to respect the national identities of the member states. National law enforcement bodies, particularly constitutional courts and tribunals, have the right to examine the scope and limits of the EU’s powers, it says.

Some European leaders fear the ruling could bring legal chaos to the bloc, while many Poles fear it is a step on the road to Poland’s exit from the EU.

Poland’s main opposition leader Donald Tusk called on Poles to defend their membership of the EU in protests scheduled for Sunday night in Warsaw and other Polish cities.

Critics point out that the Constitutional Court of Poland is a politicized body with several judges who were illegally appointed. They argue that it therefore lacks the legal authority to issue a ruling that could have huge consequences for Poland’s future in the EU and its place in the West.

Jaroslaw Kurski, first deputy editor of the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza, had a message for the Polish government on Saturday when he called on people to protest on Sunday: “We will not be expelled from the European Union! It will not deprive our children of their dreams and their hopes for the future. If you want to head east, then proceed by all means, but don’t drag us along with you. “

Meanwhile, a far-right activist called on “all patriots who care about the sovereignty of our state” to join a counter-protest in Warsaw.


Spike reported from Budapest. Geir Moulson contributed in Berlin.

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