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Polexit? Poland’s Top Court says part of EU law incompatible with Polish Constitution  

Senior EU officials warned of a “Polexit” after the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that some articles of EU treaties were “incompatible” with the country’s constitution. The Court also said that EU institutions could not “act beyond the scope of their competencies” by interfering with Poland’s judiciary.

The ruling came after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki brought a case before the Constitutional Court challenging a European Court of Justice decision earlier this year. The EU Court ruled that Poland’s mechanism to discipline judges violated EU rules and ordered its suspension.

Polish politicians said that the court’s finding pointed to the sovereignty of Poland except in areas of “delegated competence ” where EU law could have primacy – and they claimed that the Constitutional Courts of Germany and France had previously ruled in a similar fashion.

Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zbigniew Rau said that: “In its judgment, the Polish Constitutional Court has confirmed that EU law has primacy over national law only in areas of delegated competence. It therefore has shared the views of the German Constitutional Court and the French Constitutional Council.”

“The EU is the common good of the Member States that are parties to the Treaties,” he tweeted. “Their constitutional courts may assess whether the limits of the powers conferred have been exceeded. The transfer of competences by the Member States does not mean that their sovereignty is lost to the EU.”

He wrote that the provisions referred to in the European Treaties remained in force. “However, it is contrary to the Polish Constitution for EU institutions to extend their competences arbitrarily.

He also said he was “convinced that my French and German partners will also consider this practice to be contrary to their constitutions

However, France’s Europe Minister Clement Beaune, said that the landmark ruling marked an “attack against the EU”.

“It is very serious…there is the risk of a de-facto exit” of Poland from the EU, he told the BFM-TV broadcaster in an interview, saying that “I do not want the exit of Poland”.

An escalating row between the EU and Poland has seen the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party clash with Brussels on a number of issues.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn accused the Polish government of playing with fire.

“The primacy of European law is essential for the integration of Europe and living together in Europe. If this principle is broken, Europe as we know it, as it has been built with the Rome treaties, will cease to exist,” he said.

But Reuters reported that Hungary called on European Union institutions “to respect member states’ sovereignty” after it backed the Polish court ruling.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a government resolution welcoming a Polish constitutional court ruling. The government of Hungary called on EU institutions to respect the sovereignty of the bloc’s 27 member countries

It claimed that the poor practices of EU institutions which disregard the principle of delegation of powers triggered the Polish court’s consideration of the legal primacy issue

“The primacy of EU law should only apply in areas where the EU has competence, and the framework for this is laid down in the EU’s founding treaties,” the Hungarian document says according to EuroNews

The resolution also states that EU institutions are obliged to respect the national identities of member states. National law-enforcement bodies, in particular constitutional courts and tribunals, have the right to examine the scope and limits of EU competences, the Hungarian resolution says.

 



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