Tuesday

4th Oct 2022

Polish ruling party says EU constitution 'dead'

The Polish ruling party, Law and Justice, believes Vienna is "wasting time" trying to revive the "dead" EU constitution and should focus on more pressing matters such as the services directive instead.

"The constitution must be ratified by all. The decisions of France and the Netherlands closed the matter," Law and Justice party spokesman Adam Bielan told EUobserver on Monday (16 January).

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  • Law and Justice thinks the EU has better things to do than debate the constitution (Photo: European Commission)

Senior party member Artur Zawisza indicated that Poland's Law and Justice-led government has not made any official statement on the subject because "it is busy with real issues, not subjects of debate that have no practical chance of coming about."

Their remarks follow recent statements by the Austrian EU presidency that the charter is still alive despite negative referendums in France and the Netherlands last year.

Germany, Portugal and Slovenia share Vienna's positive attitude, while French president Jacques Chirac has suggested bits of the constitution could be salvaged and pushed ahead.

But the Netherlands is opposed to any revival while Spain, which has ratified the text, says it should not be changed.

The dream of a severed head

Mr Bielan said Austria should "not waste time on an old document, they should concentrate on creating a new one," while calling Mr Chirac's idea "the dreams of a severed head."

He explained that Polish leaders are more interested in Germany and France's thinking on the services directive and EU energy supply than the constitution.

Law and Justice says the EU would be better off with a single legal document, but that it will take "years" to draw up any new constitution.

Mr Bielan indicated a new charter should be drafted by member states at intergovernmental level rather than via a convention of national experts as before.

The process should begin with gathering fresh public opinion to help heal the "rift" between people at large and Europe's political elite - the cause of the negative referendums in the first place, according to Mr Bielan.

Meanwhile, Mr Zawisza warned that Warsaw would reject any attempt to move away from the Nice treaty structure on voting rights among member states.

The Nice treaty gives Poland more voting power compared to the EU constitution, which tied voting more strictly to population size.

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