‘On the path to Polexit’ – Polish judges rule national law supersedes that of EU

Poland’s future in the European Union was thrown into doubt yesterday after judges ruled that Polish law superseded EU law in the latest clash between Warsaw and Brussels.

aroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Law and Justice, the dominant party in Poland’s governing coalition, said a different ruling would mean that “Poland is not a sovereign state”.

He added that when it came to the administration of justice “the EU has no right to interfere”.

The ruling that the Polish constitution carried more weight than the EU treaties drew a furious reaction from politicians in Brussels, the de facto capital of the bloc.

The European Commission said it “will not hesitate to make use of its powers” to protect the primacy of EU law.

They accused Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland’s prime minister, of putting the country on the “path to Polexit”, increasing the prospect of Warsaw leaving the bloc.

MEPs described Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal as “illegitimate” because it is stuffed with Mr Morawiecki and Mr Kaczynski’s hand-picked allies.

All member states agree to a treaty provision that dictates EU law has primacy over national law.

The final arbiter of EU law is the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, according to the membership treaties.

The Constitutional Tribunal said some provisions of the EU treaties and some EU court rulings went against Poland’s highest law. Two of the 14 judges dissented from the majority opinion.

“The primacy of constitutional law over other sources of law results directly from the Constitution of the Republic of Poland,” Piotr Muller, a government spokesman, wrote on Twitter.

“Today (once again) this has been clearly confirmed by the Constitutional Tribunal.”

 

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Polish deputy prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski a news conference with members of border guard Tomasz Praga and Andrzej Jakubaszek

Jeroen Lenaers, a MEP for the centre-Right European People’s Party, said: “By declaring that the EU Treaties are not compatible with Polish law, the illegitimate Constitutional Tribunal in Poland has put the country on the path to Polexit.”

Davide Sassoli, the European Parliament president, added the verdict “cannot remain without consequences”.

Didier Reynders, the EU Justice Commissioner, said Brussels would take action to ensure the supremacy of EU law and the bloc’s top court.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

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