And on the challenge to the coronavirus, the president of Parliament: “To defeat the pandemic we exported 1 billion vaccines, but everyone is part of them”
BRUSSELS. There is also Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Parliament debate on the crisis of the rule of law in Poland. Respond in first person to the attacks against the ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court, but reiterates, “the States remain sovereign above the Treaties”. “The EU – he says – is a great achievement of European countries and is a strong economic, political and social alliance and is the strongest and best-developed organization in history. But the EU is not a state, the EU member states are instead ». In the treaties – he essentially repeats before the Parliament – “we have granted some competences to the EU but not all competences”. Shortly before, in her speech, the President of the European Commission had framed the issue by saying that «with the accession to the European Union, the Poles put their trust in this project, thinking and expecting that it would rightly defend their rights. The Commission is the guardian of the treaty and it is therefore my duty to protect the rights of EU citizens, wherever they live on the territory of the Union ”. “I am deeply concerned – continued von der Leyen – because it questions the basis of the EU and constitutes a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal systems”. And «we will not allow – he concluded – that EU values are put at risk; the European Commission will act. The options are well known: infringement procedures, the cross compliance mechanism and other financial instruments. And article 7, a powerful tool to which we must return ».
Ursula von der Leyen recalls that “the Poles have played a fundamental role in integrating our Union, allowing their homeland to flourish as a vital part of our Union. And they always will be. Poland, you are and will always be in the heart of Europe ». In his speech he quotes Karol Wojtyla: «As Pope John Paul II went to his homeland, he changed European history forever. When Lech Walesa with a scattered group of trade unionists defeated a mighty army, we saw the beginning of the fall of the Iron Curtain. And when President Lech Kaczynski ratified the Lisbon Treaty together with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, he reaffirmed Poland’s commitment to our values ».
The Morawiecki-von der Leyen comparison
A sharp question and answer was born between Morawiecki and von der Leyen. The Polish premier speaks of “inadmissible blackmail”, “to speak of violations of the rule of law or of Polexit are lies”. Rejects – raises the tone – “threats and impositions”. The competences of the EU have limits, he insists, “we can no longer be silent, let’s say no to European centralism: pluralism means that between our legal systems there must be dialogue, and dialogue can also exist through the judgments of the judges”. No, therefore, to a European super-state. The EU “is a great achievement but it is not a state”. No diktat to member countries: “The Constitution – declares Morawiecki – is the fundamental right of Poland and we find this in article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty”. On the other hand, he says, “the position of the Constitutional Court is not new; I could cite dozens of sentences of the Spanish, Czech, Romanian, Lithuanian or other constitutional courts, even if these sentences concerned other subjects of lower rank, but they confirm that the national constitutional courts hold for themselves the right of control ».
The thrust of the Polish premier does not stop: “The EU is overstepping its limits,” urges Morawiecki. And when the vice president of the European Parliament, Pedro Silva Pereira, calls him back and asks him to end his speech, Morawiecki reacts: “Don’t bother me, I’ll stop talking.”
The challenge to Covid
With one billion doses “made in the EU” exported to the world in the last ten months, Europe has kept its promise as a global pharmacy against Covid. A milestone celebrated by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who now looks to Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the Italian presidency of the G20, to inflict the decisive blow to the pandemic.
The appointment to strengthen the strategy is the summit of the heads of state and government of the G20, on 30 and 31 October, in Rome, where the Union will make its commitment to donate 500 million additional doses to the most vulnerable states. “But other countries must also take a step forward”, is the warning from von der Leyen, who said she was “working closely” with Draghi and with the US president, Joe Biden, to rally the leaders of the G20 behind ” the ambitious goal of defeating the virus in every corner of the planet.
The provision of vaccines
One in two vaccines produced in over 60 factories on the old continent have been transferred to more than 150 countries: from Japan to Turkey, from the United Kingdom to New Zealand, from South Africa to Brazil. And some 87 million doses have already gone to low- and middle-income countries through the Covax mechanism. Biden’s US recently pledged to donate 500 million additional doses of Pfizer serum to the poorest countries, increasing the total commitment to over a billion. But Covax estimates that the two billion dose target for 2021 won’t be anywhere near met. Above all, the shots from the Indian Serum Institute are missing, which with the spread of infections in the country had to produce for home use. And the case of the United Kingdom stands out above all. In June, the G7 countries had pledged to donate one billion total doses to the solidarity mechanism. London had offered 100 million. To date, however, British deliveries have stopped at 5.1 million, while total exports have barely exceeded 10 million. And perhaps it is no coincidence that von der Leyen wanted to highlight once again how the Union has managed to reach 75% of vaccinated adults while remaining “open to the rest of the world” even in the most critical moments. Perhaps yet another lunge for those who, like London – now struggling with a new resurgence of infections – have closed the gates of exports in the name of “UK first”.
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