Polish justice minister says EP resolution is anti-democratic

According to Ziobro, the only appropriate response to this situation is firm opposition. Rafał Guz/PAP

The Polish justice minister has described a European Parliament resolution to sue the European Commission for its failure to uphold the rule of law, in a dispute that could affect the allocation of billions of euros in EU aid, as anti-democratic and unlawful.

"The resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday is proof that problems regarding democracy and the rule of law do not concern Poland but the European Union," Minister Zbigniew Ziobro told reporters. "This is a clearly anti-democratic and unlawful document."

Explaining what he meant by anti-democratic, Ziobro said that MEPs "want to impose their will on a sovereign and democratic country with regard to both an ideological issue and other spheres, which belong only to democratically-elected institutions of this state."

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to sue the European Commission over what parliamentarians consider its failure to uphold the rule of law. MEPs voted 506 to 150, with 28 abstentions, in favour of a resolution to take the EU executive arm to the European Court of Justice for delays in applying a new regulation - which came into force on Jan. 1 - making EU governments' access to funds conditional on their respect for the rule of law and democratic norms.

The justice minister stated that MEPs were not interested in the views of the Polish people presented during democratic elections.

According to Ziobro, the only appropriate response to this situation is firm opposition.

"Let me say that even the European Council's legal bodies have once prepared an expertise - which has not been changed till today - explaining that the regulation, that has been approved and is to be a justification for applying economic sanctions..., is incompatible with European law and the EU Treaties," Ziobro concluded.

Hungary and Poland, both under formal EU investigation for breaking the rule of law, stand to lose billions of euros in EU funds when the new regulation is applied. The resolution gives the Commission two weeks to act to stop the lawsuit, during which parliament will begin preparations for the legal action.