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Poles mobilize to defend EU membership they fear losing


Poles began to gather in cities across the country to show their support for the country’s accession to the European Union

WARSAW, Poland – Poles gathered in cities across the country on Sunday to show their support for the European Union after the country’s constitutional court this week ruled that Poland’s constitution overrides certain EU laws.

Donald Tusk, the main opposition leader in Poland and former EU leader, called for the protest, portraying it as an effort to defend Poland’s continued membership of the 27-country EU.

“We have to save Poland, no one will do it for us,” Tusk said.

TVN24, a news broadcaster, broadcast scenes of crowds gathering in Warsaw, Krakow, Poznan and other cities with European and Polish flags. In Warsaw, whose mayor is from the Tusk Civic Platform Party, flags of the EU and Poland fluttered on poles and city buses ahead of the evening rally.

In Poland, critics of the right-wing nationalist government fear that the court ruling will lead to a possible ‘Polexit’, or that Poland will ultimately be forced to leave the EU because it feels it rejects the laws and values ​​of the block.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s government denies that it is seeking to leave the bloc, although key members of the ruling party have recently used language suggesting that this could be their goal.

EU membership is extremely popular in Poland, having brought new freedom to travel and dramatic economic transformation to the central European nation, which had undergone decades of communist rule until 1989.

The court ruling, which was handed down on Thursday by a court loyal to the nationalist government, marks a dramatic challenge to the rule of law in the EU.

In a court ruling requested by the Polish prime minister, the court ruled on Thursday that the Polish constitution has primacy over EU laws in some cases. Morawiecki asked for the review after the European Court of Justice ruled in March that Poland’s new regulations for appointing Supreme Court judges could violate EU law and ordered the right-wing government to suspend them .

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ABC News

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