Angela Merkel calls for compromise amid row over Polish ECJ snub

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Angela Merkel, who earlier this week reflected connected her heavy wounded implicit Brexit, has called for EU countries to compromise implicit their competing visions of integration, astatine what was being billed successful Brussels arsenic a farewell acme for the German chancellor.

The effort by Merkel, astatine her 107th and perchance last EU summit, to creaseless implicit a quality implicit Poland’s rejection of European tribunal of justness rulings, successful an olive subdivision to Warsaw, came arsenic the Dutch premier minister, Mark Rutte, demanded pugnacious action, and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán rallied to the defence of the Polish government.

The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has threatened Poland with sanctions including a artifact connected the dispersal of €36bn successful pandemic betterment grants and loans implicit its insistence that cardinal parts of EU instrumentality are not compatible with the Polish constitution.

The assertion from Warsaw, fixed credence successful the eyes of its authorities by a ruling by the country’s law court, follows a bid of European tribunal of justness rulings demanding the repeal of measures successful Poland that person been said to undermine the independency of the judiciary.

In a fiery code successful the European parliament this week, the Polish premier minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, accused the EU institutions of overreach and turning Poland into a “province”.

The Polish presumption has been described by France’s European affairs minister, Clément Beaune, arsenic a “de facto” exit from the EU.

Merkel said she supported the committee successful making its informing to Morawiecki implicit the request to respect the ECJ. But successful a imaginable motion of the scars near by Brexit, the chancellor besides warned of an “underlying problem” that needed resolution.

“It’s the question of however the idiosyncratic members envision the EU,” Merkel said. “Is it an ever person national oregon is it much federation state? And this is surely not lone an contented betwixt Poland and the EU, but besides successful different subordinate states.”

She added: “We indispensable find ways and possibilities to travel unneurotic again connected this, due to the fact that a cascade of ineligible disputes earlier the European tribunal of justness is not a solution.”

While the Dutch authorities is acold from being a champion of European federalism, Rutte has been outspoken astir the request for subordinate states to respect communal EU values and laws if they are to bask the benefits of the union.

He said helium expected Poland to suffer backing if it continued to enactment successful defiance of EU law.

“We person to beryllium tough,” Rutte said. “The independency of the Polish judiciary is the cardinal contented we person to discuss. It is precise hard to spot however a large caller money of wealth could beryllium made disposable to Poland erstwhile this is not settled.”

Belgium’s premier minister, Alexander De Croo, said: “If you privation to beryllium portion of a nine and person the advantages of a club, you indispensable play by the rules. A reddish enactment has been breached and we cannot judge that.”

On the different broadside of the argument, Orbán, whose authorities has besides faced threats to its EU backing for failing to respect the regularisation of law, offered his afloat enactment to Poland.

He said: “Poland is the champion state successful Europe. There is nary request to person immoderate sanction, it’s ridiculous. What’s going connected present is that European institutions circumvent the rights of the nationalist parliament and authorities and modify the pact without having immoderate morganatic authorization to bash so. Poland is close … the existent part enactment is communal consciousness and non-common sense.”

Morawiecki, aft a gathering with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, soon earlier the summit, repeated his insistence that Poland would not beryllium “blackmailed”, but helium appeared to person softened his stance.

“We are acceptable for dialogue,” helium said. “We volition of people speech astir however to resoluteness the existent disputes successful statement and successful dialogue.”

Merkel’s acme appearance, marked by a peculiar “family photo” of the 27 heads of authorities and government, could beryllium to beryllium her past if talks implicit the constitution of the adjacent German authorities carnivore effect earlier the adjacent scheduled gathering connected 16 December.