Poland’s Supreme Court has warned the country may have to leave the EU. The warning came in response to a series of judicial reforms allowing judges to be censured based on the content of their verdicts, or whether they refer cases to the European Court of Justice for preliminary rulings. A new law even opens the possibility of punishing judges who publicly criticise the reforms. The government argues the justice system is regarded by many ordinary Poles as inefficient, and that it needs to be more democratically accountable.

The overwhelming majority of Poles want their country to stay in the EU. Surveys regularly find support for EU membership in Poland to be upwards of 90%, despite the frequent legal clashes between Warsaw and Brussels.

What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in by Terezia, who believes that Poland is violating fundamental European democratic principles and should therefore leave the EU.

To get a reaction, we put Terezia’s comment to the Polish Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputowicz. What would he say to her comment?

For another perspective, we also put Terezia’s comment to former German Justice Minister Katarina Barley, who was elected as an MEP in 2019 and is now a Vice-President of the European Parliament. What is her view?

Does Poland want to leave the EU? Could the political dispute between Brussels and Warsaw escalate to the point of “Polexit”? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: Bigstock © wjarek


61 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Chris

    Definately so they don’t have their traditions and culture eroded by uncontrolled and encouraged mass migration

    • avatar
      Marko

      You mean eroded by thousands of polish migrants who leave their country/traditions&culture each year by migrating to the west?

    • avatar
      Chris

      that won’t help but I was thinking of completely alien cultures and values

    • avatar
      Wasim

      yes, exactly, you see after 5 years of that mass migration in Germany, Germans stopped eating their traditional bread for example (Brötchen) and all of them eating Arabic bread, like any local grocery store like REWE doesn’t sell Brötchen anymore and only Arabic bread, and German restaurants give up on serving potatoes dishes like Kartoffelsalat, they only serve falafel and shawarma or Döner
      It’s Desaster i am telling yeah

    • avatar
      jthk

      It is not the problem of the migrants. Poland has been eroded by the bad political culture which has wrongly put itself at the middle of the power conflict between the US and USSR. A small state torn between two or three big powers is suicidal and do nothing good for its people.

    • avatar
      Nadya

      An irrelevant response failing to grasp the basics of the debate question.

  2. avatar
    Gabriella

    Hungary as well…. There is a huge double standard within the EU western-EU members against the CEE part. All the liberalnazi propaganda cannot handle if a country does not want to sing the same liberal songs and they opt for more common sense policies. They cannot understand that this part of the world does not want communism to come back… The same communist philosophy more and more western-eu country is floating towards (while robbing the poorer parts of the world to upkeep thier cushy lifestyle). It is wonderful to see that, without CEE workers, your agriculture will need to rely on illegal migrants :). (who will NOT work for you, as they are there solely for social benefits) I really hope that the EU will fall apart just as the Soviet Union did.

    • avatar
      Chris

      definately, Hungary stand strong

    • avatar
      Alejandro

      yes totally, the Hungarian government is doing very good moves , towards true democracy, separation of powers, freedom of press, etc.

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      Indeed… Hungary is more democratic than many other EU countries where even election results can be modified if the “dear leader” does not like to result (eg Germany and AFD), where minority governments cannot basically govern (Italy, Spain, Belgium etc..) and where press cannot say anything else but the pc mantra (90% of western press). In Hungary there is a true balance of press (50-50% of left/right), noone is beaten up while protesting, separation of power is still sg should be reformed because too many old communist judges are still in power. (that is exactly Poland wants to get rid of as well)

    • avatar
      Wasim

      same speech we hear from a third world country , it’s not Hungary you describing, it’s utopia that is not exist , keep dreaming, Hungary and democracy, two word in different direction

    • avatar
      Martyna

      Only people who didn’t live under Soviets can compare EU to Soviet Union. It’s like comparing 3rd Reich to United Kingdom.

    • avatar
      Erik

      ‘I really hope that the EU will fall apart just as the Soviet Union did’ ..so, and what next?

    • avatar
      Gabriella

      I lived under soviets and hated it. I was very happy about the EU’s original plan. What it is now is a dictatoship. If they do not like a party, or a person, they start to accuse them with unlawful doings. This is exacty what is happening in Poland and Hungary. It is the reason Brexit happened… Only the blind does not see it….

  3. avatar
    Wasim

    That just doesn’t make any sense, Poland without EU is just another Russian territory by tomorrow
    I guess your reader Teriza or what ever her name is just another Russian agent

  4. avatar
    Chris

    Just to add, as a staunch leaver in the UK, I never had any issue with polish people living here, great bunch who obey our laws, respected our culture and added positively. The UK will never forget the Polish who stood with us against the nazis and didn’t simply surrender or collaborate

    • avatar
      Michael

      But Chris, you guys were saying you wanted the Europeans out and preferred people from the Commonwealth. Have you forgotten, or have you invented an alternative fact?

    • avatar
      Chris

      I have no problem with immigration but controlled. Keep numbers sensible and insist all new comers agree to follow our laws, not make up their own religious ones and not try to change our country, traditions and values to suit them. In short I believe when you visit or ask to live in someone’s country you should respect it. If you want to change a country to be like the one you left, simple stay where you were. To add I have no issue whatsoever with Europeans living here just not 500k net a year.

    • avatar
      Martyna

      After II WW (1946)UK invited Soviets but not Poles to Victory Parade not to mention UK and USA sold us to our enemies after it ( we fought against Soviets in 1920). Polish people like to complain but they won’t put themselves in situation where they can become easy target to be thrown under the train. We aren’t islands we are in the middle of the continent we have much more in common with rest of EU than British and opposite to Britain we don’t have other union ( like f.ex. Commonwealth) to join to.

    • avatar
      Michael

      That’s fine with me, too. I do agree that the current EU migration scheme is not sustainable, because all countries administer their own immigration systems, but are also obliged to admit citizens from all other members. Thus, in practice, the most liberal countries set the bar for EU immigration, which is upsetting to more conservative countries. Nevertheless, even if we unified the EU immigration system, which I think there is an argument to be made for it, the policy would inevitably be a compromise that would still leave many people unsatisfied.
      The thing is, you guys were one of liberal countries to begin with, and you still are now. You still have relatively liberal immigration policies and the EU has nothing to do with it. I think it’s time to stop blaming others for your issues, especially now that you are independent.
      Anyway you guys have left as you wanted. We are still friendly. There is no need to fight over it. In Spain there are more Britons than Spanish in the UK, even if they are mostly retirees. Let’s be friends. There is more than enough grief in the world without pointless enmity in Europe.

    • avatar
      Chris

      @Martyna erm you forget to mention the UK troops currently posted in Poland as part of nato to help secure your Eastern borders.

    • avatar
      Michael

      Let’s be brutally honest, if the shit hit the fan, you think Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Jamaica, Pakistan and Zimbabwe are going to protect the UK? The motley Commonwealth is cute, but the UK sovereignty is still effectively guaranteed by NATO, which in practice means by the US.

    • avatar
      Chris

      @Michael absolutely we left the corrupt eu not Europe, they aren’t the same thing. Oh and don’t belive everything you see in our media, the bbc is not representative of majority views but a narrow London centric woke perspective. Many are far more conservative than you think and are not happy with the current status quo. Just because you want to protect your history, culture, traditions etc doesn’t make you a nazi

    • avatar
      Dan

      You know as well as I do Chris that uncontrolled immigration from the continent was the overwhelming reason for the Brexit vote.You may not have a problem with the ridiculous numbers that were coming into the country but most British people did.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Very well, Dan. Now British people can get ready to gather the harvest in the fields and work in factories for a minimum wage. There are a lot of jobs for you now. I just hope you manage to work enough so that you can pay all the benefits of the hundreds of thousands of non-EU migrants flooding your country as they don’t like working much, but like having lots of children, which also means much more school places, houses and hospitals required. As far as I know, the most popular baby name in the UK is Mohammed, so even your culture is being slowly replaced with foreign ones while you are busy chasing away your European neighbours. Good luck in your endeavours as a “free” country!

  5. avatar
    David

    The Polish people should decide for themselves what they want.

  6. avatar
    Carlos

    Yes Poland and Hungary…out of EU….

    • avatar
      Carlos

      these countries agree with diferent values of EU… there is no chance to mantain these aproch of the reality. Or it is not ” Union”…

    • avatar
      Martyna

      No we won’t as most of us are not stupid. UK may manage without EU but Poland would be mess. Law and Justice won’t be in power forever as after covid19 there won’t be enough money to splash on churches and social. Anti EU propagand in Poland is mainly their lies and manipulation so NO. We are not planning to leave.

  7. avatar
    Michael

    Poland is a net beneficiary of EU membership and the common market, do it would make little sense, but in this age of populism and irrationality, who knows?

  8. avatar
    Marko

    Both, Poland and Hungary should leave or be kicked out because of their undemocratic behavior (although this is unfortunately not possible). They are annoying.

    • avatar
      Martyna

      You are lucky that your country isn’t ruled by lunatics which bribe people with social money. I hope after 5years law and justice will be put in front of tribunal for breaking constitution and Poland as a country become normal once again.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Marko, you are annoying, too – talking without knowing anything about those countries, their people and their democratic wishes, apart from what you have been fed from politically biased media. Really annoying!

  9. avatar
    Dan

    Why on earth would any country want to leave an organisation that gives them free money and allows them to export their unemployed to other nations?.

  10. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    I do not think so. The poorer Eastern European states need the EU. Then again I understand the decision of Poland. As Europeans we are not equal. The idea
    of United States of Europe is good, but this is not an easy thing.

    After World Ward 2 Europe wanted to get united and to become like America or the USA, where each country represents a state. I do not know. This is tough. We are very different as Europeans.

    In the USA everybody is from somewhere else. Nobody is an American, until in Europe there is a lot of pride and history. You cannot melt all the Europeans together to become one single country. The Northern Europeans do not like the Southern Europeans. The same applies for the Western Europeans who think that Eastern Europeans are inferior.

  11. avatar
    Olivier

    It up to the polish people to decide. Polish justice should not be dependant of EU

  12. avatar
    Bulgar

    I as a Bulgarian respect a lot and love the Poles as brothers. If Polish people do not profit from the EU then they should leave, however every European country is important.

    However I see that not EU members are equal. Yet the EU is good for Bulgaria, because someone had to put order in our country. In Bulgaria all the money, investments and business go to the capital. The other cities do not profit from this.

    In Poland the situation is better. There is life in the other cities a part from the capital Warsaw. Poland is a very beautiful country. It is truly European.

  13. avatar
    Pedro

    No. But they should vote against the actual leading party.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      They should vote for whoever they want. That is their democratic right in which you should not interfere.

  14. avatar
    Johan

    I definitely hope so. Rather a smaller and more integrated EU.

  15. avatar
    Szo

    No! Most of us (poles) are ardent supporters od EU integration. We respect democracy, constitution, law. We understand solidarity and we understand what the EU is. Unfortunately our present goverment is a costly mistake (the effect of ignoring parliamentary election), but we hope a lot will change soon…

    • avatar
      Alex

      why you voted for them? Twice

    • avatar
      Tristan

      who says that she voted for them?

    • avatar
      Alex

      I’m talking about the people in general…

    • avatar
      Tristan

      then you could better have phrased it as: “Then why did so many Poles vote for them? Twice.”

    • avatar
      Szo

      I voted… but not for them. We had two problems: the low turnout rate and part of society which had been bribed by irresponsible, populist politicians with social money. Those politicians are in the goverment now, unfortunately.

  16. avatar
    Jean-Marc

    Yes, of course, the Poland does not contribute anything to Europe, it does when it takes advantage of nothing more to see the system turn away and makes Americans work instead of European industry! then it will be a good riddance.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Jean-Marc, a contribution is not measured only in money. Every European country contributes with its culture. Looking only at money is a very narrow-minded view and does not represent the full reality of life in Europe. You cannot reduce everything to money. If tomorrow you have less money than today, would you be less human? Which European value does this follow? Master-slave mentality is no longer a European value. It has been replaced by equality which you certainly don’t share. How can you then claim that you should stay in EU, but Polish people should leave when clearly you do not follow European values?

  17. avatar
    Péter

    Poland, Hungary and the British Empire are not suitable for membership in EU.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      How come – what makes you think that? :)

    • avatar
      Péter

      first two : rule of law issues, third is extreme nationalism

    • avatar
      UknownWarrior

      Come on. We know the real reason why Britain left the EU. They are the American Trojan Horse in Europe. Be honest and tell the real reason why Poland and Hungary want to leave and do not lie about it!!! Do not lie. Tell the truth why they want to leave the EU. I do not believe these lies that they write here.By the way I am happy that Britain leave the EU, because now Ireland get its chance to get unified!!!

  18. avatar
    jthk

    EU is formed for collective security for peace and prosperity so as to avoid the recurrence of a third world war. Unfortunately, the EU has wrongly being used as a political tool to continue the game of superpower confrontation. Post Cold War over-expansion by accepting unqualified states has paved a road towards EU’s self-destruction. EU must strengthen its own political economic capacity and influence before expansion. Members do not share the same value on peace and security as the EU is founded, departure is a good thing.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Yes, let’s have another iron curtain, separate into Eastern and Western European blocks and again be enemies, just like it was during the Cold war… You can’t see any further than your nose, can you? It is both East and West that have to change to bring a peaceful and prosperous future for all on the continent. For this to happen, understanding and respecting everyone’s democratic wishes is required, not just those of the Western European nations. False pride based on money and a master-slave mentality are not European values that will be accepted by the Eastern countries who have suffered a lot in their history from such kind of attitude and control. If one rejects dialogue, then there will be no understanding and peace.

  19. avatar
    Tristan

    Poland shouldn’t leave, but they should play by the European rules. If you want the benefits of being a member of the European Union, you also have to accept the responsibilties that come with it.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Thanks for your comment, Tristan! Do you think the EU should do more to ensure that countries play by European rules?

    • avatar
      Tristan

      yes, I do. And I’m glad to see that the European Union has won its case against some member states who refused to take in their share of refugees during the refugee crisis. Because of this they can sanction member states who don’t play by the European rules.

  20. avatar
    Nadya

    It probably will the way it is going but I don’t think it should. It would a major missed opportunity to reform the country and join a club of democratic and prosperous countries.

  21. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    I can tell you that after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe the crime level has gone up! Maybe it would be better for Poland outside the EU. The idea was to have a United States of Europe.

  22. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    United States of Europe – USE

    The idea is not bad since Europe is tired of wars. This could be a chance to become one country with one Army.

    Of course I think the EU should put pressure to attract Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland, Monaco, San Marino and Andora in the Union. These countries are wealthy

    Poland will win more if they stay in the EU, however they are the ones that can decide better for themselves.

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