Geert-Victor LePynski, coming to your town too

von Maximilian Steinbeis

Dear Friends of Verfassungsblog,

Imagine 50 Members of German Parliament from the governing coalition file a motion at the Federal Constitutional Court to have the appointment of Supreme Court President Bettina Limperg, after a critical press interview, retroactively declared unconstitutional. Imagine further the Minister of Justice Heiko Maas file an equivalent motion to strip three disfavoured Constitutional Judges from their offices. At a Federal Constitutional Court in which the governing coalition before had replaced five of the eight judges in each Senate with their own people.

Crazy? Certainly. But just replace Germany with Poland and see: this is happening right now.

Of course the German grand coalition is not PiS. Bettina Limperg is not Małgorzata Gersdorf, Heiko Maas is not Zbigniew Ziobro, Germany is not Poland. But this is no reason to pretend that this is all none of our business. What happens in Poland (and, for that matter, in Hungary), is not foreign policy for EU member states. It is European interior policy.

This is a government with seat and voice in all European institutions, acting, in plain sight, as if the rule of law would not apply to itself. And yet most EU member state governments, including the German, choose to pretend that this matter is best to be handled with diplomatic sagacity. There may be many valid reasons of foreign, security and energy policy to keep the Polish government content, but if you are faced with such blatant disrespect to the rule of law, the pillar of the European legal order, and all you come up with are feeble gestures of appeasement and ineffective words of admonishment, you do a disservice to the rule of law that amounts to a damage in itself. And that is certainly no longer just foreign policy.

The EU Commission, as we know, has initiated with much ado a rule of law procedure about Poland ...

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Shaddap You Face - Joe Dolce

Classic 80's comedy song. Joe Dolce was born in Painesville, Ohio USA and has lived in Australia for many years

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