Polish deputy FM accuses Brussels of using excessive power

The European Commission (EC) is “breaking European law” in seeking to punish the Polish government for introducing policies it objects to, Poland’s deputy foreign minister has claimed.

In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro published on Thursday, Pawel Jablonski said the EC had shown a negative bias towards Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) government since it came to power following parliamentary elections six years ago.

"It all started in 2015, when our government started to rule," Jablonski said. "Legal disputes, especially ones concerning the reform of our justice system, stem clearly from political and ideological motives related to the fact that we are a conservative government in the middle of a Union that has been dominated by liberals, the left and the centre.

"Had the same reforms been implemented by liberal parties, they would have been accepted without any problem," Jablonski argued.

The deputy minister went on to complain that the EC applies different standards to France or Germany, where, according to him, politicians have influence over who should become a judge.

"The European Commission and the Court of Justice of the European Union go beyond their scope of authority, it is them who are breaking European law," Jablonski said.

The deputy minister went on to defend a recent ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal which stated that certain provisions of EU treaties are in conflict with the country's constitution, putting into question the supremacy of EU law over national regulations.

"The constitution, which is the supreme law of a country, must prevail," Jablonski said. "It is clearly visible in the French and German systems."

The deputy minister also criticised the EC for withholding EU recovery funds for Poland "to promote its political agenda."

"The Commission is clearly suggesting that it will not release the funds if we carry out a justice system reform," he argued.

"This decision has no legal grounds," he said.

Jablonski also expressed concerns that the EC may be trying to gain more influence over EU member states.

"If we don't stop this drift, the Commission will be able to do as it pleases, ignoring the treaties," he claimed.

"It is a pivotal moment in the history of the European Union. Will we remain a Union of 27 sovereign states, or will we become one super-state?" he asked rhetorically.