Jaroslaw Gowin, deputy Prime Minister and leader of the junior coalition partner in Polish Government ponders accepting the rule of law conditionality if it’s accompanied by a “binding declaration.”
Since there’s no such thing as a “binding delcaration” this would be a figleaf to cover a climbdown. What’s he up to? First he can embarras de-factor Polish leader and rival for control of the Right Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Second, if the multiannual MMF is vetoed, new funds that would have benefited countries like Poland won’t be available making it hard for Poland’s own budget to add up. Kazcynski’s been damaged by the abortion row in Poland and can no longer threaten Gowin with another election. If polls are right, the ruling party would be thrown out of office.
The lesson: Pressure from the Commission is starting to show. Ursula von der Leyen has now said that the Commission would be able to go ahead with the recovery fund without Hungary and Poland (Hans von der Burchard at Politico has the details).
He also said he can’t find enhanced cooperation in the treaties (let me help: It’s Articles 20 and 326-334), but Orbán’s not the greatest authority on EU law, as this week’s opinion by the -Court of Justice Advocate General makes clear. What began with one of his top allies having to quit after being caught in an orgy, ends with his Polish alliance on the ropes. Not a good week for Viktor.
Benedek Javor highlights how Slovenia is drawing from Orbán’s playbook, to attack the financial viability of independent media.
Rule of Law in Poland finds proof of instructions to judges from the Polish Ministry of Justice. Not a good look for a judiciary under fire for not being independent. (Via the industrious Laurent Pech).