In a joint declaration by the German and French foreign ministers, Poland is both morally and legally obliged to respect the common rules of the European Union that joined in 2004.
Heiko Maas from Germany and Jean-Yves Le Drian from France released their statement late Friday in response to a ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court earlier this week calling into question the supremacy of EU laws. The court ruled on Thursday that the Polish Constitution takes precedence over EU laws in some cases.
“Membership in the EU goes hand in hand with full and unconditional loyalty to common values and rules,” said Le Drian and Mass.
“Respect for and compliance with these must be met by each member state,” they added. “Of course, this also applies to Poland, which occupies a very central position within the EU.”
“That doesn’t just mean a moral obligation. It also means a legal obligation, ”said the ministers.
Some European heads of state and government fear that the ruling could bring legal chaos to the bloc, while many Poles fear that it is a step towards Poland’s exit from the EU.
Poland’s main opposition leader Donald Tusk called on Poles to defend their EU membership in the protests planned for Sunday evening in Warsaw and other Polish cities.
Critics point out that the Polish Constitutional Court is a politicized body with several illegally appointed judges. They argue that the tribunal has no power to take a decision that could be of enormous importance to Poland’s future in the EU and its place in the West.
The tribunal launched its review of a motion from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki after the European Court of Justice ruled in March that Poland’s new rules on the appointment of Supreme Court judges may violate EU law. The EU Supreme Court ordered Poland’s right-wing government to suspend the rules.
Jaroslaw Kurski, first deputy editor-in-chief of the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza, called on the Polish government to protest on Saturday: “You will not push us out of the European Union! They will not rob our children of their dreams and hopes for the future. If you want to go east, then by all means continue, but don’t drag us with you. “
Meanwhile, a far-right leader called on “all patriots who care about the sovereignty of our state” to join a counter-protest in Warsaw.