Commission sues Poland over EU primacy challenge
The European Commission launched legal proceedings against Poland on Wednesday, citing the Constitutional Tribunal’s 2021 ruling as challenging the supremacy of EU law.
In 2021, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal decided that certain EU Treaty provisions were incompatible with the Polish constitution.
“The Constitutional Tribunal with these rulings breached the general principles of autonomy, primacy, effectiveness, uniform application of Union law and the binding effect of rulings of the Court of Justice of the EU,” the Commission’s announcement reads.
The EU executive aims at “ensuring that the rights of Polish citizens are protected and that they can enjoy the benefits of the EU in the same way as all EU citizens,” the Commission said, adding that primacy of EU law ensures EU law is equally applied across the Union.
Since the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in 2015, it has been at odds with the Commission over the party’s push for judicial reform.
According to the Commission, the Constitutional Tribunal is no longer impartial or independent, as it has become too politicised. In particular, the Commission criticised irregularities in the appointment procedures of three judges in December 2015 and the selection of the Tribunal’s president in December 2016.
In 2021, the Commission sent its objections to the tribunal’s rulings, which the government then rejected. Viewing the Polish response as unsatisfactory, the Commission decided to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Poland’s controversial judicial reforms are also one of the reasons why the Commission continues to withhold the funds it is meant to receive under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Brussels and Warsaw will soon discuss the matter, with the Polish government believing a compromise will soon be reached.
(Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl)