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Polish PM to EU: Don’t lecture us Poles about democracy

September 3, 2021 GMT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Friday that nobody has the right to lecture his country on democracy, after the European Union said talks were still ongoing over the payment of billions of euros to bloc member Poland due to rule of law issues.

“Nobody will teach us what democracy and rule of law are because Poland has a very long and noble history of fighting against all kinds of totalitarianism and despots,” Morawiecki said on Facebook.

“We fought for the rule of law and democracy during the terrible years of communism, but we have a much longer longer tradition of democracy and we do not want to be instructed by anyone in Western Europe about what democracy is, what the rule of law is, because we know best,” the prime minister added.

Two days earlier, EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said the Polish government’s challenge to the primacy of EU law in the 27-member bloc was one issue under discussion ahead of the release of billions of euros in pandemic recovery funds to Poland.

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Earlier this year Morawiecki asked the nation’s constitutional court to rule on whether the Polish constitution or EU law has primacy in the central European nation.

The court has been delaying its judgement, with the next session now set for Sept. 22. If it gives precedence to Polish law, it would pose a threat to the EU’s interconnected legal order.

Morawiecki asked for the review in March after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that EU law takes precedence over the Polish Constitution. That came amid a larger dispute over changes to the Polish court system, initiated by the governing Law and Justice party, which the EU views as an erosion of democratic checks and balances.