EU leaders are ‘highly worried’ about Poland, Rutte says in Brussels

Mark Rutte leaves the meeting on Thursday night. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP
Mark Rutte leaves the meeting on Thursday night. Photo: Jonas Roosens ANP

The overwhelming majority of European leaders are ‘highly worried’ about the actions of the Polish government, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said after the first day of the EU Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels.

Poland is under fire for failing to abide by several rulings by the European Court of Justice and its actions were the subject of over two hours of talks during the meeting.

While Thursday evening’s meeting was not about taking action, the majority of leaders fully support the European Commission in putting forward the necessary measures as a reaction to what the Polish government is doing, Rutte told reporters.

Broadcaster NOS reported that Rutte had been keen to see disciplinary measures imposed on Poland but that Germany, France and Italy want further dialogue.

‘If it were up to Rutte, Poland would lose its voting rights in the EU until the rule of law has been restored. But he does not have enough support,’ NOS said in its analysis.

According to European news website EU Observer, Rutte had said before the meeting it was difficult to see how Poland could receive EU recovery funding while the dispute is ongoing.

‘This has to do with the foundations of our democracy in this part of the world, and this is not negotiable,’ Rutte told the website.

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morewiecki said on Thursday that Poland will not give into blackmail but is open to dialogue with the EU. The Czech Republic and Hungary support Poland’s position in the dispute with the rest of the EU.

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