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Poland’s challenge to EU law destabilizes the Union

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It is with concern that the European establishment is considering the recent ruling by which the Polish Constitutional Court has questioned the primacy of Community law over national law. Behind the Brussels positions lies the fear of witnessing the more or less surreptitious attempt to undo the legal framework on which the European Union itself rests.

The president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said she was “deeply concerned” by the ruling. «Our Treaties are very clear. All judgments of the European Court of Justice are binding on all authorities in the Member States, including national courts. Union law takes precedence over national law, including constitutional provisions. We will use all the powers we have under the Treaties to guarantee this principle ».

Asked by its government, the Polish Constitutional Court has taken a stand
Thursday stating that two articles of the Treaties are “incompatible” with the constitution
national. The decision of the judiciary, which will only come into force once published, has aroused strong reactions. Many observers believe that the sentence is a first step towards the country’s exit from the Union. Nationalist Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki assured that “Poland intends to remain in the European family of nations”.

It is not the first time that some national judges have questioned the primacy of Community law. In 2020, the German Constitutional Court criticized the European Central Bank’s debt purchases after they received the approval of the European Court of Justice. More or less serious doubts have also been expressed over the years by the judiciary in Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France and Romania (still recently on the judicial front).

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In Brussels there is a strong fear of a fraying of the legal framework on which the European Union rests, especially since the Polish case is striking compared to, for example, the German one. Not only is the sentence of a general nature, that is, it does not concern a specific matter, but it has also been requested directly by the local government. According to the information gathered in the community, there are three avenues that Brussels is considering at this juncture.

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