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Polish court ruling challenges primacy of EU law

| 2021-10-08 < 1 min read

Polish court ruling challenges primacy of EU law

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Poland’s highest court ruled Thursday that some parts of the EU treaties are incompatible with the country’s own Constitution. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki originally took the case to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, asking whether the EU could block Poland’s judiciary reorganisation. In his verdict, judge Bartlomiej Sochanski said: “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.”

European Parliament President David Sassoli tweeted: “Today’s verdict in Poland cannot remain without consequences. The primacy of EU law must be undisputed. Violating it means challenging one of the founding principles of our Union. We call on the EC to take the necessary action.” For its part, the European Commission (EC) said it “will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the Treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law”.

The fallout from the Polish court’s verdict is just the latest spat between the EU and Poland’s governing Law and Justice party PiS. This new ruling, delayed four times since July, sets the ground for further disputes between Brussels and Warsaw.

Constitutional and EU lawyers say the verdict should be understood within the context of the EU delaying its disbursement of recovery funds to Poland. According to recent developments in Brussels, the populist governments of Poland and Hungary will next month have to agree to these payments being linked to rule of law conditions.

Source: BBC, Reuters, EC