Polish Constitutional Court says national law is above European law

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Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland

Is Polexit imminent? On Thursday, the Polish Constitutional Court declared that the laws of the European Union must be subject to the country’s constitution.

Poland’s highest court ruled this Thursday that some parts of the European Union (EU) treaties are incompatible with the Constitution Polish, in a decision that challenges the biggest pillar of European integration and aggravates the dispute between Brussels and Warsaw.

According to Reuters, the Constitutional Court declared that EU laws must submit to the country’s constitutional law. “The EU Treaty is subordinate to the Constitution in the Polish legal system (…) and, like any part of the Polish legal system, it must comply with the Constitution,” said Judge Bartlomiej Sochanski.

The verdict had been expected for months and was known after four postponements. Only two of the 14 judges who make up the collective voted against the ruling, which states that some EU legal provisions conflict with the Polish Constitution.

The Polish government, led by the ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, is involved in several disputes with the European Union, including issues such as judicial reforms, freedom of the media or LGBT rights.

In March, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked the Constitutional Court to review a ruling by the EU Court of Justice that European treaties have primacy over national law of the Member States.

At issue was the reform of the judicial system set in motion by the Polish Government, which the EU considers violates several principles of the rule of law.

At the time, the ruler argued that Brussels had no right to interfere in the legal systems of the EU Member States, asking the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, to rule on the compatibility of various community regulations with the Polish Constitution and the obligation of national courts to respect the decisions of the Court of Justice European.

Despite denying interference, the Government of Poland has been accused of politicize the country’s courts, including the Constitutional one.

“The primacy of constitutional law over other sources of law results directly from the Constitution of the Republic of Poland,” wrote Piotr Muller, spokesman for the Polish Government, in the Twitter. “Today (once again) this was clearly confirmed by the Constitutional Court.”

In turn, David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, asked for the intervention of the European Commission (EC) and said that the verdict “can’t be without consequences”.

At a press conference, the European Commissioner of Justice, Didier Reynders, said it was too early to comment on the sentence, but expressed some concern about its content, according to Público.

“In recent months we have consistently recalled a number of fundamental principles of the EU organization that have governed the Union since its foundation: first, that the decisions of the EU Court of Justice are binding on all national authorities, including the courts. ; second, European law has primacy on national law, and thirdly, only the Court of Justice of the EU has jurisdiction to determine whether an act of any European institution is in conformity with European law”, he said.

Critics of the ruling argue that challenging the supremacy of EU law compromises Poland’s long-term future in the European Union and the bloc’s own stability.

73a6ccb87257481bf03434001195fb58 Polish Constitutional Court says national law is above European law Liliana Malainho, ZAP //