EU News: Warning as France, Germany and Poland drop key rule – ‘Very serious’ | World | New
Steven Barrett, Commercial Chancery Barrister at Radcliffe Chambers, has identified four areas of concern for the bloc when it comes to upholding the rule of law. The rule of law is enshrined in article two of the Treaty on European Union as a precondition for all member states in order to protect the fundamental principles of the bloc.
But in a series of messages on Twitter, Mr Barrett suggested the EU’s cornerstone was under threat.
He wrote: âThe crisis of the rule of law in the EU now has four parts: The Polish problem (national courts ignore the ECJ).
âThe German problem (national courts ignore the ECJ).
âThe French (the government is usurping the role of the EU in the EU / UK treaty).
âProblem of the ECJ (the tribunal is not independent and is not a tribunal). All four = the crisis.
The Polish people and their government currently have no appetite to leave the EU27, as the country depends on EU funds from the bloc’s coronavirus bailout.
Poland would also not be able to deviate completely from EU rules as member states signed the Lisbon Treaty which gave new legislative powers to the European Parliament.
Last year, Germany also took the unprecedented step of challenging the authority of the EU after its constitutional court ruled that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate by buying bonds.
The financial plan had already been approved by the European Court of Justice – and in June 2021, the European Commission took legal action and said the German court had set a “serious precedent”.
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Meanwhile, France has also shown contempt for EU rules regarding post-Brexit fishing line with the UK.
The UK and France remain at loggerheads over licenses for EU vessels to fish in UK waters.
Paris officials have threatened to block UK ports and impose sanctions on exports, even though France would need the support of 26 other EU member states to do so.
In another article, Barrett tweeted: âThe rule of law crisis is an existential threat to the EU.
âPolitically obsessed (and hating the UK) people miss this. If France can act alone now, any of the other 26 can and in any treaty.
âWithout the rule of law, the EU does not exist. France = as bad as Poland. “
The UK and the EU signed a trade and cooperation agreement in December 2020 and the legal text also says parts of the agreement may be torn apart.
The prospect of a suspension of the deal has been raised over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol, a mechanism created to prevent a hard border.
The two sides remain at loggerheads as the EU insists on European Court of Justice oversight in any dispute over goods in Northern Ireland.
In the trade agreement, it says: “In the event of serious and systemic failures within one party with regard to the protection of fundamental rights or the principle of the rule of law, the other party may suspend the this Part or its titles, by written notification through diplomatic channels.
âThis notification must specify the serious and systemic deficiencies on which the suspension is based. “