Four Arrested in Pro-EU Protests Amid Fears Poland Will Follow UK Out the Exit Door
13:22 GMT 11.10.2021 (Updated: 08:11 GMT 06.08.2022)
Poland’s highest court ruled last week the country's constitution took priority over EU law. Critics say the ruling could potentially lead to Polexit, with Warsaw following Britain out of the 27-member bloc.
Police in Warsaw have detained four people during a protest by up to 100,000 people demonstrating in support of the European Union.
There were smaller protests in several other Polish cities.
Ironically, among those arrested on Sunday was Franek Broda, 18, whose uncle, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, has been taking an increasingly anti-EU stance.
Broda, who is also an LGBT activist, claimed a police officer kicked him in the head when he was on the ground before he was handcuffed and detained.
Warsaw Police spokesman Sylwester Marczak said several people were also given on-the-spot fines for lighting flares or obstructing traffic during a march to the headquarters of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party.
The Polish government has clashed repeatedly with Brussels in the last six years about whether Polish or EU law takes precedence.
The EU claims Poland’s highest judicial body, the constitutional court, is stuffed with government loyalists and is therefore not truly independent.
Poland joined the EU in 2004, 15 years after the ending of communist rule in Warsaw.
But in recent years many Poles have viewed with suspicion the rise of a European super-state and fear losing their national identity, which is heavily dominated by the Roman Catholic Church.
EU moves on issues like LGBT rights have often been resisted by those with traditional Polish Catholic values.
Mr Morawiecki and party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski have denied
they are planning to lead Poland out of the EU.
In March, the European Court of Justice ruled that Poland’s new regulations for appointing Supreme Court justices undermined judicial independence and were in breach of EU law.
Mr Morawiecki asked the constitutional court, which sits above the supreme court, to review that ruling which it did, stating that Polish law must always take precedence over EU law.