Saturday

21st May 2022

Agenda

Raw nerves over Polish verdict in EU This WEEK

  • EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki during the EU summit last May (Photo: Council of the European Union)
Listen to article

Poland's Constitutional Tribunal ruling, which questions the primacy of EU law, will continue to strain nerves through the bloc this week.

Last Friday (8 October), EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she was "deeply concerned" by the verdict and ordered commission services to swiftly analyse the details.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

All member states had signed up to the primacy of EU law when they became members, she added.

"We will use all the powers that we have under the treaties to ensure this," von der Leyen said.

France and Germany said the same in a joint statement.

And Polish opposition leader, former European Council president Donald Tusk, has called for a protest to "defend the European Poland" in Warsaw on Sunday.

But for its part, Hungary backed the Polish government in a special decree, entrenching the conflict on rule of law in Europe.

Meanwhile, von der Leyen will turn her attention to Kyiv on Tuesday, where she will participate in a regular EU-Ukraine summit.

The two sides will discuss anti-corruption reform, Russian aggression against Ukraine, and energy security, amid a spike in gas prices and allegations of Russian market manipulation.

The same day, von der Leyen will also take part in the G20 most developed nations' club talks on Afghanistan.

The following day, commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič is to table "far-reaching proposals" on how to help manage Northern Ireland's customs and open borders after Brexit.

The European Parliament will focus on committees this week.

On Monday, MEPs on the civil-liberties committee will hear from the Danish minister for immigration, Mattias Tesfaye, whose centre-left government has taken an increasingly right-wing line on refugees.

On Thursday, the committee will vote on a media-freedom report aimed at stopping strategic lawsuits against public participation, so-called SLAPPs.

The report calls for an EU anti-SLAPP directive which would provide minimum safeguards for media and civil society.

On Tuesday, MEPs committee will also decide its position on how to strengthen Europol, the EU's joint police agency, to respond faster to terrorist and cybercrime threats.

On Thursday, the EU Parliament's industry committee will quiz energy commissioner Kadri Simson on measures to tackle the drastic energy-price rises across Europe.

But the commission has been saying the price hike was a global phenomenon and there was little it could do.

Still on Thursday, the foreign-affairs committee will celebrate the finalists of the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

And the same day, the budget-control committee will hear from Ville Itälä, the director-general of Olaf, the EU's anti-fraud agency, on how he protected the EU's financial interests in 2020.

On Tuesday, the parliament's environment committee will adopt its negotiating position for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will take place from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow in the UK.

And in the EU Council, employment ministers will meet on Friday to agree conclusions on gender mainstreaming in the EU budget, according to expectations.

Poland questions EU legal primacy in court ruling

Poland's Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that parts of EU treaties were incompatible with the Polish constitution, in a major escalation of the rule-of-law dispute between Warsaw and Brussels.

Feature

Denmark shattering lives of Syrian refugees

Denmark is throwing out Syrian refugees, who risk violence and who made Denmark their home for years, in a test of the EU country's respect for human rights.

Fraud against EU dropped 20% last year

There were a total of 1,056 fraudulent irregularities in 2020, with a combined financial impact of €371m. Currently, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain do not have domestic anti-fraud plans.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Podcast

Ultraconservatives in Putin's shadow

Vladimir Putin's Ukraine war has threatened to be a public relations disaster for hard-right gatherings like the Conservative Political Action Conference — now meeting in Budapest and featuring Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who remains highly-cordial with the Kremlin.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  2. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  3. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  4. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  5. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  6. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  7. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  8. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us