Showdown between Poland and the European Union: a very political affair

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The Polish Prime Minister came to explain it without convincing before the European Parliament and the European Council, which brings together the heads of state or government, is due to debate it this weekend. This subject, which is indicative of internal tensions within the European Union, deserves to be studied closely.
Let us note first of all that this debate is underway because the Polish ultra-reactionary government is launching a series of legislative measures calling into question fundamental human rights. He intends to integrate the functions of Minister of Justice and Attorney General, while placing the constitutional court under the direct supervision of the government, thus shredding the principle of the separation of powers. Several hundred magistrates have been dismissed or disciplined, while judicial appointments are made under political control. The right to abortion is questioned, as is the protection of minorities and the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sex. Treaties to preserve the environment such as the right of asylum are just as much undermined. In other words, Poland, after Hungary, flouts fundamental human and political rights.
In doing so, the ultraconservative government of Poland does not intend to express its condemnation of the ultraliberal treaties which determine the framework of competition between member states, prohibit public monopolies, destroy social and democratic rights and gains or disfigure the republican definition of public services. . On the contrary, he plebiscites them.
Here, therefore, the Court of Justice of the European Union demands the withdrawal of the reform of its judicial system which undermines the principle of separation of powers, dear to all progressives. In other words, the Polish government, which benefits more than any other country from structural funds such as social deregulation policies that it is demanding at the top of its lungs, is opening a crisis on the most execrable bases possible, drawing the contradictions from the construction European downwards, that is to say, towards the worst reaction.
Legally, this brutal and reactionary decision is based on the prevalence of national law over European law. On two occasions, the German constitutional court which sits in the city of Karlsruhe has given a similar opinion, pointing out the absence of a European people likely to hold a sovereignty which would supplant that of the member states. This is how Germany opposed the policy of purchasing European Central Bank securities validated by the European Court of Justice, following the health crisis, because it was deemed contrary to the monetarist dogma enshrined in its Constitution. We had not heard, at the time, the apologists of liberal Europe take so loud an offense, while this decision marked a flagrant refusal of solidarity between member states … We can see that the crises shaking construction European Union are operating on the right flank (Brexit is another convincing example), while mobilizing a crucial issue for all progressives attached to the social republic, that of sovereignty.
In fact, this question of the primacy of European law over national law, and therefore of the exercise of sovereignty, has never really been decided and is the subject of a case law which leads the courts towards what the jurist Alain Supiot calls “a war of the last word”. This legal vagueness and this jurisprudential battle led by the European Court of Justice happily benefit the supporters of a liberal Europe who, like Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs and close to Mr. Macron, want to make the member states bend to the internal, capitalist and Atlanticist logic of the European Union. This is to forget that the European Union is not a federal State, but an organization to which States have transferred, in certain areas that the Union is constantly seeking to expand, “the exercise of their sovereignty” (and not their sovereignty). It should be added that decisions taken at European level have national translation only insofar as they are the subject of treaties or directives that the States have signed. These same treaties that we have never ceased to fight, from that of Maastricht to Lisbon which was imposed on us against the majority opinion of the French people. Democratic formalities, foremost among which the exorbitant weight of an unelected Commission, should therefore prohibit the total supremacy of European law when it aims to reduce or eliminate national social and democratic rights above European standards. . The framework for the exercise of popular sovereignty remains the nation. In other words, in all areas there should be a social, democratic, feminist, anti-racist or environmental non-regression clause. It is the popular movement that can put things right by being part of a process of building a new Europe: that of the peoples and no longer of the money powers. There is thus a considerable space for the trade unions, associations, national and continental progressive forces to fight against the liberal defects of the European construction.
The legal nature of this debate should therefore not mask its strongly political dimension. We observe in fact that it is the reactionary forces which dominate the internal debates in the European Union and open up crises which in no way call into question the domination of capital. Quite the contrary! We must therefore be careful not to applaud the arm wrestling launched by Poland because it widens the bed of an increasingly virulent reaction and which feels more free to impose its views on migration, environmental or social issues. And what is being said in Poland is also being said here on the part of the supporters of a national capitalism which is just as ruthless with the workers. Progressives therefore do not have to choose between the ultra-right-wing Polish government and the ultra-liberal European Commission.
We have a responsibility, along with the progressive popular movement, to lead debates and struggles to radically transform the continental project into a project of a Union of associated peoples and nations, free and united, on subjects that are sovereignly agreed upon.

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