Amid the EU’s dispute with Warsaw over the rule of law, Joachim Kuhs, AfD MEP in the EU Parliament and member of the AfD federal executive board, dubbed Angela Merkel’s government as “arrogant” and claimed it doesn’t care about Germans’ stance on their sovereignty.
The German politician said: “Nobody has ever asked the German people whether they want to transfer their sovereignty to a jurisdiction abroad that is not democratically legitimised.”
It follows Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruling that parts of the Polish constitution are superior to European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has this week clashed with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament as she threatened him with sanctioning measures.
READ MORE: Sorry, Emmanuel! Macron’s EU army dream in tatters as Germany slaps down plan: ‘Wrong way’
Mr Kuhs claimed: “The arrogance and hubris of the Merkel government reached its shameful climax in its last few days.
“While Angela Merkel has made her long-time ally Stephan Harbarth the President of the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany.
“Brussels and Berlin attack the courts in Poland, which see their independence and sovereignty threatened by Brussels.”
Suggesting that Harbarth’s appointment could influence the Court’s position concerning the rule of law, he continued: “The German Federal Constitutional Court, too, had serious doubts about the primacy of EU law over the Basic Law, the Bundestag and German law – at least before Harbarth.”
It was, in fact, thanks to “a great willingness to compromise on all sides”, Merkel pointed out, that the EU’s rule of law mechanism came to fruition last year during the German presidency of the EU Council.
While Merkel’s appeasing approach is often praised in Germany and beyond, some disagree with it.
Leading Social Democrat and vice-president of the European Parliament Katarina Barley told Germany’s Der Spiegel that her “dialogue, building bridges, no confrontation” attitude is valuable but “not enough” for Poland. “The new German government will recognise that dialogue is important, but,” she said, “We now need tougher measures.”
The row between Brussels and Warsaw is expected to take centre stage during the bloc’s autumn meeting, with the debate revolving around the Commission’s commitment to protecting the Union’s values and Poland warning it “will not be intimidated”.
Prime minister Morawiecki said: “We say yes to European universalism and no to European centralism.”
The EU’s threat to launch a new budgetary mechanism that allows the freezing of joint funds for countries accused of breaching EU law is still active.
But some, such as Mr Kuhs, believe the bloc needs to be challenged: “It is time to put the encroaching EU, which is getting out of hand, in its place before it is too late.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg