Tens of thousands of Poles joined a demonstration on Sunday for the European Union and against the policies of the current government. In Warsaw, according to a spokesperson for the city council, eighty to one hundred thousand people gathered at the royal castle in the old town, Polish media report. Government supporters questioned these turnout figures.
Protesters opposed the ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court earlier this week, which said it Polish law and its own constitution are more important than EU law. In Warsaw, demonstrators waved Polish and European flags and shouted slogans such as “we are staying” and “we are Europe”. Dozens of other cities, including Krakow and Gdansk, also demonstrated on Sunday against the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
“Legal exit from the pole”
Opposition leader Donald Tusk, also the country’s former prime minister and former president of the European Council, called for demonstrations earlier this week and delivered a speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw during the protest. “I am sounding the alarm bells because the ruling party has decided to withdraw Poland from the EU,” he said, referring to the conservative-nationalist government of the PiS party. “We want an independent, European, democratic, law-abiding and fair Poland. These principles are today crushed by the power without conscience and without morals.
The decision of the Polish Constitutional Court, according to which is partly illegally appointed, is controversial. The judgment specifies that Polish politicians can ignore certain elements of European law and that the judgments of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg are not binding, which is contrary to the fundamental principles of the European Union.
Critics say the court’s decision is a “legal polexit” and brought closer a break with the European legal order. The Polish Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, for his part welcomed what he considered to be the “constitutional limits to European integration”, according to him, set by the decision.
“Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover.”