Poland is the latest EU Member State to look like it might put a spanner in the works of ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon (DJ Nozem has a good list of the other silly requests currently known). BBC has a lousy article about it, and EU Business has a much better, clearer explanation.
When both Kaczynski brothers were in power in Poland (Lech as PM, Jaroslav as President) Poland dug its heels in to extract concessions in the Treaty to defend its national interest – delay of QMV voting rule changes until 2014/2017, and an additional clarification on exemption from the Charter of Fundamental Rights that also applies to the United Kingdom (see the bottom section of this from Ralf Grahn for the full text).
So what happened then? Well, essentially, new PM Donald Tusk – far more EU favourable than the Kaczynski twins, has smoothed relations with other leaders in Brussels, but needs a 2/3 majority in the Sejm (Polish parliament) to get the Treaty ratified. Tusk assured the Kaczynskis’ party – Law and Justice – that the Charter clarification would be maintained in the Treaty, and hence Law and Justice initially looked like they could support it.
Seems that Jaroslav Kaczynski has gone back on that deal, and is now demanding that the bill to approve ratification in Poland should contain a stipulation that the country’s constitution takes primacy over the treaty and include a statement specifying “the Polish republic remains and will remain a sovereign state.” If Parliamentary ratification cannot happen, then the only option might be a referendum…