May 6th, 2019 (last updated)
European Council President Donald Tusk called on Poland’s political leaders to respect the constitution in a speech in Warsaw on Friday, amid speculation that he may return to domestic politics when his EU term ends in November.
The former Polish prime minister and leader of the opposition Civic Platform party accused political leaders of celebrating the constitution once a year and disrespecting it on every other day, during a speech at Warsaw University to mark the annual constitution day.
“It can’t be that those in power once a year celebrate constitution day, but disrespect it on a daily basis,” he said. There is widespread speculation about Tusk’s future once he leaves his European post.
Poland is due to hold a parliamentary election in the autumn and a presidential election in mid-2020. Tusk did not announce a return to Polish politics on Friday.
EU’s Donald Tusk calls for patience with Britain over Brexit European Union… czytaj dalej » He criticised political divisions in his home country, saying: “Today, specifically in our country, politics is taking on the character of a domestic war.
” The European Union has begun a legal procedure against Poland over changes to its judicial system by the governing nationalist party that EU officials say undermines democratic separation of powers and the rule of law.
The parliamentary election is expected to be a first test of whether the ruling, eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party will win another mandate. The PiS has sought to paint Tusk as an ambitious Eurocrat who failed to protect national interests in the EU.
Tusk’s speech comes ahead of European Parliament elections at the end of May in which more nationalist groups are expected to make gains.
European Council President Donald Tusk also spoke about the dangers of the evermore expanding digital world.
In his opinion, the world needs to be wary of the rise of tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. He compared their powers to those of countries such as China.
“In the East, we see the rise of those capable of controlling everyone’s behaviour, and in the West we’ve seen the rise of an uncontrolled, spontaneous empire,” Tusk said in Warsaw in reference to the companies during a speech marking Constitution Day.
“Our children are dependent on the internet and everyday will become more dependent on it,” he added.
The European Union has been in the forefront of efforts to tighten control on how social media companies handle the personal data of consumers, with rules introduced last May giving regulators the power to impose fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue for violations.