Everyone Stands to Lose From the EU-Poland Rule-of-Law Dispute

Everyone Stands to Lose From the EU-Poland Rule-of-Law Dispute
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Oct. 21, 2021 (pool photo by Olivier Hoslet via AP).

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European Union leaders have converged on Brussels today for their quarterly European Council summit. Featuring prominently on the agenda are Europe’s soaring energy prices (more on that below) and a resurgent migration crisis. But the issue that is certain to dominate conversations in Brussels, despite the best efforts of European Council President Charles Michel, is the standoff between the EU and Poland over the rule of law.

This is the first EU leaders’ summit since Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled earlier this month that Polish courts could have the final say on some matters of EU law, rather than the European Court of Justice, the EU’s supreme court. The ruling is a blow to the heart of the bloc’s stated norms and values, and represents a major challenge to the EU’s legal order. On Tuesday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki delivered a confrontational speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in which he argued he was leading a European opposition to creeping EU centralization.

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