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Andrzej Duda, more powers in EU policy. The Sejm passed the Act on the cooperation of authorities in the matter of Poland’s presidency in the EU Council

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On Friday evening, the Sejm passed an act on cooperation between authorities regarding the Polish presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will take place in the first half of 2025. Thanks to this, the president will gain additional powers in creating EU policy. Part of the opposition claims that it is an “unconstitutional attempt to take away the prerogatives of the Council of Ministers”.

The bill was presented by the president Andrzej Duda, all three readings were conducted by the Sejm on Friday. 238 deputies were in favor of the bill, 210 were against, and six people abstained from voting. In previous votes, the Sejm rejected the opposition’s motion to reject the act in its entirety; minority applications were also rejected. The bill will now go to the Senate.

During the work in the Sejm, the presidential project was supported by the club PISrepresentatives of the opposition: Civic Coalition, Left, Polish Coalition and Poland 2050 were critical of the proposal. According to the opposition, the new regulations are unconstitutional, and the motivation for their introduction is the fear of losing power and, consequently, PiS losing influence on European politics .

The president wants more powers in EU politics. “All these solutions are unconstitutional” >>>

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Andrzej DudaPAP

“An unconstitutional attempt to take away the prerogatives of the Council of Ministers”

During the work of the committee, Małgorzata Paprocka, the minister of the KPRP, emphasized the need for cooperation between the president and the government in matters related to membership Poland in the European Unionand the Polish Presidency in 2025.

Paprocka pointed out that the presidential proposal touches on three main issues: the government’s obligation to cooperate with the president, as well as with the Sejm and the Senate in matters related to Poland’s membership in the EU; setting the priorities of Polish policy in the EU by the government, in consultation with the president, and introducing the president’s decision-making power in the matter of Polish candidatures for positions in the EU structures.

The Minister for EU Affairs, Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, positively assessed the three main assumptions of the presidential project. He noted that some of them, such as cooperation, discussing priorities and positions by the government and the president, are already taking place today.

The president wants more powers in EU politics. “All these solutions are unconstitutional”Martyna Olkowicz/Fakty po Poludnie TVN24

KO MP Robert Kropiwnicki assessed during the work on the bill that it has “a number of constitutional defects”, goes beyond the powers of the president and encroaches on the powers of the Council of Ministers. Slawomir Nitras (KO) said that the presidential project was “an unconstitutional attempt to take away the prerogatives of the Council of Ministers”. He also outlined a possible future conflict of powers between the president and the prime minister and the probable “paralysis of Poland’s activities in the European Union” that follows.

What does the bill assume?

The Act on the cooperation of authorities regarding the Polish presidency of the EU Council defines the rules of cooperation between the Council of Ministers and the President of the Republic of Poland, as well as the Sejm and Senate in matters related to Poland’s membership in the EU.

According to the act, the government is to submit proposals to the president for the positions of: member of the European Commission, member of the Court of Auditors, judge of the Court of Justice of the EU, advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union, member of the Economic and Social Committee, member of the Committee of the Regions and director of the European Investment Bank. Then, the president has 14 days to agree or refuse to designate the candidates.

The Act also provides for setting by the government, in consultation with the President of the Republic of Poland, priorities regarding the exercise by representatives of the Council of Ministers of the Presidency of Council compositions and providing the competent bodies of the Sejm and Senate with information on these priorities. The decision on the Polish position for the meeting of the European Council or for an international meeting with the participation of the EU is to be made by the government in consultation with the president.

Submission of the bill to the Sejm by President Andrzej Duda announced in a message delivered in early June. As he informed, it will define the framework for cooperation between the president, the government, the Sejm and the Senate in the context of Poland’s presidency of the work of the EU Council, which will take place in the first half of 2025. He also called for the immediate adoption of the law. The president stressed that he would like this initiative to prove that the entire political class can cooperate harmoniously on issues that are most important to Poland.

A fragment of the address of President Andrzej Duda

A fragment of the address of President Andrzej DudaOffice of the President of the Republic of Poland

Main photo source: PAP



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