Most Poles agree with government rule of law veto

“Poland is not blackmailed by Germany”, said MEP Sikorski. [EPA/JOHN THYS]

The decision of the Polish government – together with Hungary – to block the approval of the EU budget and recovery fund because of the attached rule of law mechanism was backed by 57% of the Polish population, according to a poll by United Surveys for the daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and RMF FM.

Asked whether Poland should reject or support the introduction of a mechanism in the EU budget of there’s a link to rule of law, 57% of respondents supported such an outcome, according to the poll.

At the same time, in a second question, when asked whether Poland should veto the budget in case the mechanisms introduced, less than 20% of those surveyed responded Poland should support the budget, while more than half of respondents (57.4%) wanted the EU budget to be blocked, with 23.1% undecided.

The ruling camp claims that blocking the budget-and-recovery package was the only solution to what they perceive as a threat to the country’s sovereignty.

Polish President Andrzej Duda supports the government in its firm stance against the mechanism, said president spokesman Paweł Mucha on Tuesday. While Poland accepts the overall shape of the package, “there cannot be room for an arbitrary or politically motivated decision that may have its consequences in reducing EU financing,” he added.

“Nobody has to teach Poland the rule of law or democracy”, said the deputy leader of the ruling coalition party Solidary Poland (Solidarna Polska) Michał Wójcik, adding that countries with “bad history in the last 100 years” have no legitimacy to discuss the rule of law.

For its part, the opposition claims that the government’s position on the mechanism results from its fear of being financially punished for disrespecting the rule of law.

“You lie to the Polish people with regards to the rule of law”, said MEP and former Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski (Civic Platform) in parliament. “You are the first justice ministry in any European country that opposes the rule of law”, he added.  

“Poland is not blackmailed by Germany”, said Sikorski in reference to the arguments made by some MPs who back the veto. “You lost the voting because you are bad negotiators”, added Poland’s former foreign minister.

(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)

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