Polish Court Rules Some EU law is unconstitutional and the dispute is deepening

Warsaw-Poland’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that some EU treaties did not conform to the Polish Constitution, challenged the pillars of European integration and sharply expanded the dispute between Brussels and Warsaw.

The European Commission said the ruling raised serious concerns about the superiority of EU law and, after years of legal and political debate, set it on a complete clash with Polish nationalist rulers.

Polish Law and Justice (PiS) Party Government is involved in a value battle with Brussels, focusing on disputes over court independence, media freedom, LGBT rights, and other issues.

By going further and challenging the dominance of EU law, critics say the PiS government not only jeopardizes Poland’s long-term future in the block of 27 countries, but also jeopardizes the stability of the EU itself. say.

PiS denies this and states that there are no plans for “Polex it.”

The Polish Constitutional Court undertook the proceedings after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked if EU agencies could prevent the restructuring of Poland’s judiciary.

On Thursday, Judge Bartolomier Sochansky said, “The EU treaty is subordinate to the Constitution of the Polish legal system … and, like the rest of the Polish legal system, must obey the Constitution.” Said.

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kacchinski welcomed the ruling.

“In Poland, the highest legal act is the Constitution, and all European regulations in force in Poland … must comply with the Constitution.

“This also applies to the judiciary, and the European Union has nothing to say here,” he told reporters.

Privileges, safeguards

Brussels has accused the PiS government of undermining judicial independence during drastic reforms. The party says the change is intended to make the courts more efficient and remove the last traces of the influence of the Communist era.

The Constitutional Court stated in its ruling that it had the right to confirm not only the constitutionality of EU law, but also the judgment of the European Union Court of Justice (CJEU).

The European Commission said it would analyze the decision before deciding on the next step without going into detail.

“The European Commission does not hesitate to use its authority under the Convention to protect the unified application and integrity of EU law,” he added.

The referee began hearing the case in July, but canceled the case four times before taking a seat on Thursday.

Some critics may have aimed to pressure Brussels to accept Warsaw’s national reconstruction program, an aid program aimed at helping the EU economy shake off the effects of the pandemic. Perhaps the funding is a standard related to the rule of law of the EU and compliance with democracy.

The European Commission has already approved most of the national program, but withholds the approval of Poland and Hungary on concerns about these standards.

Earlier this month, EU officials said the European Commission could approve Poland and Hungary’s national reconstruction plans in November, but would set conditions related to respect for the rule of law.

By Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk