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We are afraid of European lawlessness, of the tyranny of the majority, of abuse of power

19 October 2021

We are afraid of European lawlessness, of the tyranny of the majority, of abuse of power

Legutko: "We are afraid of European lawlessness, of the tyranny of the majority, of abuse of power, of the cavalier use of the Treaties."

Read the full statement made by ECR Group Co-Chairman Prof Ryszard Legutko following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki contributions during today’s debate on the primacy of EU law.

“Mr President, Madame President, Prime Minister,

Prime Minister, from what you have heard so far, you might have already guessed that you found yourself in the most peculiar place. The European Parliament is the institution, first, that has been governed by the same political coalition from time immemorial, rather unusual in any nation state, with predictably unfortunate consequences. Second, the coalition is decidedly left-wing, with the EPP and Donald Tusk following suit, more and more radical and tries to enforce their leftist views on the entire world, recently, believe it or not, on the American state of Texas. Three, it has no understanding for dissent, and therefore surrounds dissenting groups by a cordon sanitaire, which is quite an effective way of neutralising the opposition. And fourth, it has managed to establish a tyranny of the majority, that controls everything from administration to the distribution of the key political positions.

So, once you keep this in mind, you’ll understand why this Parliament has been waging a Cold War against and trying to destabilise conservative governments in Europe, and while to achieve this end they have been violating the basic principles of the Treaties, and made up the ad-hoc rules that are not there. And in this inglorious task, they have been unfortunately seconded by other institutions, including the European Commission, which at least since the time of Jean-Claude Junker and Mr Timmermans, became a political institution, strongly partisan, ideological and arrogant. The principles of conferral, subsidiarity and proportionality explicitly inscribed in Article 5 were thrown overboard. To give an example, tomorrow there will be another chapter of Poland bashing because of our abortion law. That such matters as abortion are exclusively the competences of the nation state, who cares? The majority can outvote any restraining rule. If making 2 + 2 = 5, were to hurt the Polish government, they would not hesitate to put it to vote. And you know what? Chances are that they would have it carried. Having got rid of the basic principles of the Treaties, they came up with their own rules, which don’t exist in the Treaties and which the Treaties preclude.

The first product of their inventive genius came from the Commission, and it was the ‘rule of law framework’, and then its parliamentary offspring: the ‘rule of conditionality’. An absolute outrage. A sheer monstrosity from a legal and moral point of view. So what? Might is right.

The newest gizmo is the ‘primacy of EU law’. In various public statements, this phrase has been immersed in a typical European gobbledegook. But I would like to know what exactly you mean by making this claim, Madame President. There is not a word about it in the Treaties. Where did you take it from? If not from the Treaties, then where from? And what do you think it means? That European law trumps national law in the areas over which the EU has exclusive competences? This is a rather commonsensical statement. Nobody questions it. That the European law trumps national law in the areas over which the EU does not have any competence? This is absurd. It would be like be the primacy of the European law over the law of the state of Texas. I’m sure that the majority of my colleagues in this Chamber would want precisely this but this does not make it any less absurd. Or perhaps, by ‘primacy’ you mean that European institutions will decide which areas are under their competence and which are not. And national institutions will have no power to oppose their decision.

But this is a very dangerous concept, extremely dangerous because it gives the EU omnipotence and omniscience it does not have, cannot have, and to be frank, it does not deserve. Over the last decade, the EU has turned out unable to restrain itself and respect the limits imposed by the principles of conferral subsidiarity and proportionality. The trust that it will stay within the Treaties in the years to come is gone. You see, Madame President, we are not afraid of European law. We are afraid of European lawlessness, of the tyranny of the majority, of abuse of power, of the cavalier use of the Treaties. Despite what one can see in the Parliament and in the Commission, might is not right.”

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