EU crisis: Polish PM attacks ‘unfair’ eurocrats who treat member states ‘like children’

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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused the EU of spreading propaganda and treating member states unfairly as crisis economic talks continue to unravel. Poland and Hungary have vetoed the EU’s £980billion (€1.1trillion) seven-year budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), as well as the £671bn (€750bn) coronavirus recovery fund.

Warsaw and Budapest have refused to support the entire financial plan, even though they are beneficiaries, as the funds are conditional on respecting the rule of law.

The two countries remain under EU investigation for undermining the independence of courts, media and non-governmental organisations and with the condition in place they risk losing access billions of pounds.

Mr Morawiecki said: “The rule of law and breaking the rule of law have become a propaganda stick in the EU.

“We reject this position, we reject this approach. We know well from the times of Polish United Workers’ Party, from the Communist times, the use of these propaganda sticks.”

He added: “We say a loud ‘yes’ to the EU, but we say a loud ‘no’ to various mechanisms that chasten us like children and treat Poland and other EU member states unequally.”

Speaking in the lower chamber of the Polish parliament on Wednesday, the Polish leader claimed the institution of the EU enabled “arbitrary decisions” to be made by officials in favour of more powerful nations within the bloc.

Mr Morawiecki added: “The EU must be built on a foundation of law and legal certainty.

“This is also the principle we are fighting for. Because without this principle of legal certainty, the EU is a mechanism for making arbitrary decisions by Eurocrats, and de facto by the European oligarchy, sometimes by a few stronger countries just to dominate the weaker ones.

“And we do not agree to this.”

During the vote on Monday, Poland and Hungary insisted they could not support the current rule of law condition, while others including the European Parliament, refuse to accept it without the clause in place.

In a statement, the European Parliament said: “The European Parliament reiterates the agreements reached on both the MFF and the Rule of Law are a closed deal and can in no way be reopened.

“No further concession will be made on our side.”

None of the financial packages can be finalised without unanimous support of all EU member states and the European Parliament.

The EU 27 will hold further talks this afternoon during a virtual summit but a breakthrough remains highly unlikely.

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A senior EU official said: “We won’t find a miracle solution at this meeting.

“We are not going to come up with a solution that we will share with the 27 on a video-conference.”

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