Sałek on the European Commission’s seizure of competence

Friday, May 26, 2023 (4:50 PM)

Update: Friday, May 26, 2023 (4:51 PM)

A very real problem at the EU level is the appropriation of the competencies of member states on energy and environmental issues by the EU institutions, which is assessed today by Paweł Sałek, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland.

Paweł Sałek, who deals with environmental protection, climate policy and sustainable development in the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, reported what was said today at the meeting of the Presidential Council for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources regarding the discussion. The current legal situation related to the provisions of the CJEU, as well as the establishment of community law in the field of nature, energy, forestry, etc.

During the briefing with journalists, he indicated that the discussion concerned “a very real problem at the EU level”, namely the appropriation by EU institutions of the competences of member states in relation to the environment. – If we look at environmental and natural issues, many of these areas are excluded from competences at the EU level, such as forestry – of the member states, and this member state is free to shape these areas. Carrying out the co-creation of the law under the procedure of cometology, we often have to deal with the fact that the European Commission is trying to appropriate the areas of economic and environmental life that have been assigned to the member state. The advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland explained that the most striking example is forest or energy policy.

According to Sajek, currently some key provisions related to, for example, energy, “have not been adopted on the basis of the appropriate treaty,” and our country is out of the vote on some issues. Here he referred to the “Fit for 55” package.

Bausch Sasek added that a serious discussion on the future treaty on the functioning of the European Union is currently taking place in the European Parliament. Currently, there is the so-called Lisbon Treaty. In his opinion, the proposals that appear in the European Parliament to centralize the European Union, “will lead to the relinquishment of various types of powers in the field of energy, or in the field of nature or forest protection, with respect to which the nation-states are concerned.” He added that the proposals boil down to the fact that most decisions will be taken through majority procedure, without veto power over individual legal procedures, which can now be used by member states.

Bavis Sagic emphasized that President Andrej Duda is monitoring this process on an ongoing basis and is “aware of how it is progressing and what it might end up with”. In response to a question about the position of the Presidential Center on some of the proposed solutions, the advisor confirmed, for example, in terms of energy, climate and environment issues, that this position is clear.

According to the advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland, EU institutions often circumvent treaties by using the principle of subsidiarity. It defines the circumstances in which the union has priority over the member states. Saek noted that the provisions on this principle will be able to influence what happens, for example, in the management of forests, which are assigned to national competencies.

When asked if this might mean the state’s forests might not be what we know them today, he replied, “I think there is such a threat.” He noted that different definitions or regulations were proposed, which would lead to the fact that “at this stage, the whole process will not be controlled in Poland, but will be carried out through definitions, guidelines, regulations and full control of what will happen in the Polish forests from Brussels.”

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