European Council President Donald Tusk believes Poland’s future in the European Union could be in jeopardy over the country’s many disputes with the EU.
Tusk — who served as the Polish prime minister between 2007 and 2014 — is worried that Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is edging closer to announcing the country’s intention to leave the EU.
“It smells like an introduction to an announcement that Poland does not need the European Union and that Poland is not needed for the EU,” Tusk told reporters Thursday in Warsaw after testifying in a court case, the EUobserver reports. “I am afraid we are closer to that moment.”
The EU has taken legal action against Poland for its refusal to accept refugee quotas set in 2015. Polish authorities are further accused of ignoring a European Court of Justice order to stop cutting down trees in the country’s Białowieża forest.
“The fact that a European tribunal decision is rejected so arrogantly is evidence of something very dangerous in my opinion — it is an overt attempt to put Poland in conflict with the European Union,” Tusk said.
PiS tried to impose reforms that would give the government greater control over the country’s courts in July. Frans Timmermans, Tusk’s vice president, threatened to impose unprecedented sanctions that would have stripped Poland of its EU voting rights. Polish President Andrzej Duda later announced that he would veto the reforms after mass protests on the streets of Warsaw.
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