Brussels vs Poland, in the pages of The Financial Times.

Political Observer asks a question.

The opening paragraphs of this news report demonstrates the resolve of the E.U. and its commission president Ursula von der Leyen:

The European Commission will take steps to punish Poland for challenging the supremacy of EU law, its head has vowed as she condemned Warsaw for “calling into question the foundations of the European Union”.

Ursula von der Leyen, commission president, said on Tuesday that Brussels had three tools to hit back at Poland, ranging from a legal challenge, to a formal sanction that could withhold tens of billions of euros in EU funds, and a political process that has the power to strip the country of bloc membership rights.

“We cannot and we will not allow our common values to be put at risk. The commission will act,” von der Leyen told the European parliament in a strongly critical speech, as Poland’s prime minister listened in the chamber. “This ruling . . . is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.”

https://www.ft.com/content/fb7c2484-8923-446c-8328-51ca76175412

Given this statement of resolve, what can the reader make of this from The Telegraph of September 9, 2021?

Headline: Michel Barnier demands return of France’s ‘sovereignty’ from European courts

Sub-headline: Former EU negotiator accused of hypocrisy by Brexiteers after attack on European Court of Justice

Michel Barnier said that France had to regain the sovereignty it has lost to European courts on Thursday and called for a referendum on a ban on non-EU immigration.

The former Brexit negotiator and EU commissioner was accused of hypocrisy because his comments appeared to contradict many of the positions he took when he was helming talks with the UK.

During the Brexit negotiations, Mr Barnier, who is running to be French president for the centre-Right Republicains party, called for the European Court of Justice to continue to hold sway in the UK and insisted it remained the sole and supreme arbiter of EU law.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/09/09/michel-barnier-demands-return-frances-sovereignty-european-courts/?utm_content=telegraph&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1631268226

The last three paragraphs of this news report are telling:

A previous attempt to apply the procedure against Poland in 2017 was shelved after Hungary vowed to veto it, and that obstruction would need to be overcome to resurrect the process and apply sanctions.

Polish government officials said the commission had misunderstood the court ruling and was both responding to its most extreme interpretation and taking a political approach to a legal issue. “With this approach to the ruling it will be hard to de-escalate,” said one.

Morawiecki told lawmakers: “If the institutions created in the [EU] treaties exceed their powers, member states have to have a tool to respond . . . The EU is not a state.”

Is the power of the European Super State waning? If the Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, turns against his former employers: ‘demands return of France’s ‘sovereignty’ from European courts.’ in his attempt to wrest control from Macron, and his utterly failed/discarded Jupertarian Politics, as cover for his Neo-Liberalization of France, what else might be possible?

Political Observer

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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