European Leaders Attacked Poland at a Summit in Brussels
European leaders lined up sharply to criticize Warsaw on Thursday for challenging the EU's legal basis, but Poland's prime minister said he would not succumb to "blackmail" before joining the 27-nation bloc's summit, reports Reuters.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said he is ready to resolve disputes with Brussels, although many worry that the ideological rift between Eastern and Western Europe poses an existential threat to the EU itself. "A few days ago, the legal basis of our union was challenged," European Parliament President David Sasoli said in a letter as leaders gathered in Brussels for their summit. "It was not the first time, of course, nor will it be the last. But never before has the Union been called into question so radically," he said.
Continued tensions between Poland's ruling nationalists and the bloc's liberal majority have risen since Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruled this month that elements of EU law are incompatible with the country's constitution, challenging the central principle of EU integration. The dispute not only risks causing a new fundamental crisis for the bloc, which is still struggling with the effects of Brexit. This could deprive Poland of generous EU aid. "Some European institutions are appropriating the right to decide issues that are not within their competence," Morawiecki said before entering the negotiations, which come two days after the European Commission's executive threatened to take action against Warsaw. "We will not succumb to blackmail ... but, of course, we will talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue."
Western countries are primarily seeking to prevent their governments' monetary contributions to the EU in favor of...