What We're Watching: Poland threatens the EU
Poland and the EU are at it again. It’s clear that there’s no love lost these days between Warsaw and Brussels, who have been at loggerheads in recent years over rule-of-law issues, particularly a spate of reforms in Poland that undermine the judiciary’s independence. Poland upped the ante Sunday, saying it would withhold payments to the EU budget and veto EU laws if Brussels follows through on a previous threat to delay COVID relief funds after Poland’s top court ruled that its own constitution trumps EU law. The EU has said that disbursement of funds to “illiberal” member states Hungary and Poland is contingent on domestic democratic reforms — a mechanism that the two Eastern European states have now challenged in court. Poland is legally obligated to pay its EU dues in order to reap the bloc’s benefits, but clearly Warsaw is banking on Brussels acquiescing in the near term. However, the EU knows that Poland might not want to push the boundaries much further because a majority of Poles want to remain part of the EU. Who will cave first?