Nicole Stinson — Daily Express Aug 4, 2017
European Council president Donald Tusk admitted Poland’s future in the bloc has “a question mark” following the Polish government ’s insistence on controversial domestic reforms.
Mr Tusk said: “There is a question mark over Poland’s European future today.
“I do understand emotions of Poles who are concerned about courts, or Poland’s future in the EU.”
The former prime minister continued: “It smells like an introduction to an announcement that Poland does not need the European Union and that Poland is not needed for the EU.
“I am afraid we are closer to that moment.”
“There are plenty of issues where the Polish government’s actions seem very controversial from the point of view of the whole EU. Including Budapest, sometimes.”
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), led by Jarosław Kaczyńsk and a number of veteran eurosceptics, has vowed they go ahead with judicial reforms despite objections from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
But hitting back Mr Tusk said: “Mr Kaczyński will not manage to frighten me.
“Neither the prosecutor, nor any other method of teasing me will help him do it.”
Poland’s foreign minister Zbigniew Ziobro said the EU was trying to “weaken” his country.
He said: “This is clearly a political battle with Poland. There are influential groups and politicians behind this, in whose interests it would be for Poland to be a weak country that was open to outside interference.”
Last week, the ECJ ordered an immediate halt to Poland’s controversial logging scheme in Bialowieza Forest, saying Warsaw’s attitude in the case hinted at “a prelude to an announcement that Poland does not need the European Union and the European Union does not need Poland”.
Brussels has also warned Poland that it has been one month to back down on its judicial reforms or the Union will take its ‘nuclear option’ and ban Poland from voting on EU matters.
This power, under Article 7 of EU treaties, has never been used yet but European Commission president Jean Claude-Junker has been growing furious at the defiance of Poland.
Mr Junker said Poland would be “more lonely after Brexit” as he made the brazen suggestion the nation would have no eurosceptic allies when the UK leaves the bloc.
Speaking about Poland judicial reforms, the European Commission president added: “These laws would have a very significant negative impact on the independence of the judiciary and would increase the systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland.”
One of the main proposals from Warsaw the Poland’s justice minister the power to force judges into early retirement or prolong their mandates, something opponents say will give him too much influence.
The news comes as one political analyst hinted that Poland and Hungary could form a coup against the bloc. [http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/835851/eu-poland-hungary-viktor-orban]
Hungarian-Polish political scientist Dominik Hejj said: “The relations are very strong, and almost every week a Polish minister visits Hungary and vice versa.
“Hungary has shown Poland that they can act domestically as they wish. The EU can’t do much about it.”