February 2, 2023

The Political Chronicle

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Europeans, differences on energy between dialogue and determination against Poland

European leaders gathered at the summit extended their hand to Poland on Thursday evening, in conflict with Brussels over judicial independence and the priority of European law, without excluding retaliatory measures.

The energy crisis had previously been the subject of intense debate for four hours between the twenty-seven, which did not reach immediate results, and Prague and Budapest called into question the European carbon market, the EU’s main climate tool. .

In the conflict with Warsaw, state leaders and the government “spoke in favor of dialogue”, while reaffirming the possibility of “withdrawing the procedures provided by European treaties and existing texts”, citing a European source.

This may involve the initiation of a new violation procedure, which may lead to the mention of European justice.

The EU also has a new mechanism that makes it possible to stop the disbursement of European funds to countries where violations of the law have been detected, affecting the social budget.

But Warsaw and Budapest want states to wait for a European Court ruling to overturn it.

“We will not act under the pressure of blackmail (but) we are ready to negotiate,” warned Polish government leader Mattus Moravici in the afternoon after an interview with Emmanuel Macron. According to Elysee, the French president called on him to “negotiate with the Commission to find a solution.”

Warsaw has been in conflict with Brussels for years over judicial reforms by the ruling Nationalist Conservative Party (PiS), which has been accused of undermining the independence of the judiciary.

Tensions escalated on October 7 with the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court – near the PiS and captured by Mattus Moraviki – declaring that some articles of the European Constitution were inconsistent with the national constitution. A decision condemned by Brussels as an unprecedented attack on the priority of European law and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

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– “Cascading Controversies” –

Warsaw can count on the support of Budapest: “There is a witch hunt in Europe against Poland, the poles are right”, Sovereign Victor Orban declared at his arrival, and was bound by the rules of law Brussels.

In contrast, Dutch leader Mark Rutte ruled that the independence of the Polish judiciary was “negotiable” and that it was necessary to be “firm”. “Poland must take the threat of sanctions very seriously,” said its Austrian counterpart Alexander Schalenberg.

But Germany was keen to avoid a “confrontation” with Warsaw. “Cases before the European Court of Justice are not a solution to the rule of law,” he said. Speaking to Moraviki, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned.

The summit was the last hundred of the German leader, who left after 16 years of rule and gave a “family photo” with his colleagues.

The head of the commission, Ursula van der Leyen, as defender of the agreements, promised to take action against Poland in the European Parliament on Tuesday. Many capitals consider the approval of Poland’s 36 36 billion stimulus plan unthinkable, currently blocked by the commission, which demands guarantees for judicial independence.

– “Speculation”? –

With regard to energy, the outgoing Czech Prime Minister Andrzej Babis has temporarily blocked a twenty-seven-point decision on solutions to rising prices, according to concrete sources.

He blamed the uprising for disrupting the economic recovery and threatening fluctuations in the carbon market, where companies are trading “pollution rights” and the price of CO2 has doubled to more than 60 euros a year.

He denounced the “speculations” and called for an investigation into the market manipulation, along with his Polish counterpart.

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However, according to commissions and experts, only 1/5 of the increase in electricity prices is due to the carbon market.

“The debate is sensitive and complex: the operation of the European electricity market between coal, gas, nuclear and renewables (prices depend on the price of gas), the energy composition of different countries, the agreement of a French diplomatic source will be discussed again in the evening.