Romania joins the challenges to the supremacy of EU law

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Poland could be in the spotlight in a rule of law dispute with another Eastern European country, Brussels, Romania, also began to challenge the superiority of EU law. In an interview with Europe Express, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders discusses the issues and the promising consequences of Bucharest.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, the latest meeting with Russia ended on a rather gloomy note yesterday, and Moscow has called all efforts a “stalemate”. This is the opinion of FT. In the diplomatic week he was able to avert impending conflict, he remained fearful that the worst had yet to come.

And in the news of the energy crisis, the Netherlands is reluctantly pumping Emergency gas supply For the EU, including major customer Germany, despite government plans to withdraw Europe’s largest gas field in the coming years.

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Mini Poland under construction

The Romanian Constitutional Court follows in the footsteps of the corresponding Polish courts when it comes to challenging the superiority of EU law. Brussels Valentina Pop and Sam Fleming..

First in May last year Arbitration, continue The second Once in December, the European Court of Justice ruled that EU law should take precedence over national law, including the decision of the national Constitutional Court, if a Romanian judge violates an EU treaty. ..

Romania’s Constitutional Court opposed both rulings, arguing that judges should give absolute priority to Romanian law.

The Bucharest-based court’s decision is Poland’s when Germany’s Constitutional Court also declares the superiority of EU law. in Germany after sending a sense of security that Berlin has fully confirmed the dominance of EU law.

According to Lenders, the Romanian government is in the middle. “We received the following reaction from the Romanian government: [EU law] Superiority. .. .. But within the framework of the Romanian Constitution. This therefore does not correspond exactly to the answer received from the German government without conditions. “

Mr Lendels could initiate proceedings against Romania in light of the “realistic, durable and long-lasting position of the Romanian Supreme Court contrary to the binding nature of EU law or ECJ rulings”. He said there were.

Although resistance to the CJEU decision is not very advanced, Romania, after Poland, could be fined several million euros if it refuses to carry out a decision of a court based in Luxembourg. .

According to the CJEU, one of these requirements is to abolish the office of the special prosecutor for judges which “can be seen as trying to establish a means of pressure and intimidation on judges”. .. Romania’s justice minister has promised to abolish special forces as part of a wide range of reforms that have yet to be approved by parliament, Lendels said.

However, Lendels said it was a deadlocked tactic he encountered in talks with his Hungarian counterparts. “You must first implement [the ECJ rulings], In Romania, stop at a special section. Then, if you want to introduce a new system, check it out. “

There are some similarities between Warsaw and Bucharest, but one major difference remains. Romania has started receiving funds under Block Next Generation EU’s €800 billion stimulus package. And unlike Poland, it is under the jurisdiction of the pan-European prosecutor’s office (coincidentally headed by a Romanian). Prosecutor, Laura Kovesi), can sue people for embezzlement or fraudulent EU money.

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Dutch on German hot-air gas

What’s a little extra gas imported between historical friends and neighbors? Mehreen Khan in Brussels..

Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economy of the Netherlands, said that I wrote Last month he warned his German counterpart Robert Habeck that Germany’s demand for additional gas supplies from the Groningen gas field was the cause of “serious concern”.

The Netherlands has vowed to close Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, over concerns about earthquakes and tremors caused by decades of underground pumping.

However, with growing demand from Germany and Europe, this sector is expected to continue production well beyond this year’s forecast. Energy crisis. Germany alone reports that it will need about 1.1 billion cubic meters of gas from Groningen this year.

Brock has warned Berlin that Germany should aim to keep its desire for gas “to a minimum” as Groningen gradually disconnects from the grid. The Netherlands left gas as part of its green transition, opted for an energy strategy at odds with Berlin and chose to make a big bet on nuclear.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte raised the thorny issue of German gas demand during his first visit to meet new Prime Minister Olaf Scholz in Berlin. “We want to get rid of gas production,” Rutte told a joint press conference.

However, the Dutch chose a diplomatic tone over Brock, adding that the Netherlands was aware of “Germany’s wish” for more imports.

Like many EU countries, the Netherlands fears that Germany will become increasingly dependent on Russian gas, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, to meet its energy needs over the coming decades. However, the natural consequence of Russia’s low gas consumption in Europe is higher demand from other sources led by Groningen.

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What to see today

  1. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and EU Brexit Commissioner Maroš Šefchovic speak to the press after a two-day meeting

  2. EU foreign ministers meet on the second day of the informal council in Brest, France

  3. Italy to hold state funeral for late European Parliament President David Sassoli

smart lead

  • Decarbonized energy: According to this, the EU’s national energy and climate program is insufficient to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. analysis According to Bruegel. Three-quarters of a block’s greenhouse gas emissions come from burning coal, oil and natural gas to produce energy. This includes the heating of buildings, transport and the operation of machinery. The transition to climate neutrality means that these services must be provided without associated emissions.

  • Poland-Germany relations: The new government in Berlin is not good news for its already strained relations with Warsaw. write to Monica Sus of the European Policy Center. Warsaw is expected to keep an eye on the Olaf Scholz administration more than Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues such as the rule of law, European federalism, energy policy, climate change and relations with Russia.

  • No “vaxenfreude”: The new term was coined for vaccinated people who love anti-vaccine disease and even death. write in FT Simon Kuper. This harsh feeling ignores loved ones, including children who experience shame and anger and often bottle up sadness.

Britain after Brexit — Keep an eye on the latest developments as the UK economy adjusts to life outside the EU. register here

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Today’s Europe Express team: valentina.pop@ft.com, sam.fleming@ft.com, mehreen.khan@ft.com.. Follow us on twitter: @valentinapop, @Sam1Fleming, @MehreenKhn..

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