By: V4 Agency
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the supremacy of EU law during a debate in the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, held with regard to a ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal that ascertained primacy for Poland’s national constitution. Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki stressed the sovereignty of member states, arguing that EU institutions should not be allowed to force their decisions on others without a legal basis.
It raises concerns that the European Union has divided Europe into better and worse ones, stronger and weaker countries, Mr Morawiecki said during the debate.
He underlined that the rules of the game must be identical for everyone, and respected by everyone, including EU institutions. This is what the rule of law is about, he emphasized. Differences exist, Mr Morawiecki said, adding that Poland wants these differences and the decisions of sovereign countries to be respected. The practice of using double standards should be abandoned, he said.
Member states must respond If EU institutions overstep their powers set in the Treaties, the Polish premier highlighted. The European Union is not a state, it is constituted of twenty-seven sovereign member states bound by the EU Treaties, he said.
He emphasized, that EU institutions have been given powers by the member states, but many areas are and will remain national competences.
If some people want a “super state” without nations, then it shall be agreed on by the member states, Poland’s prime minister said. Europe, however, needs to remain a community of equal, sovereign countries; the EU cannot be a body above the member states. It should not be allowed to force its decisions on others without any legal basis, or to financially blackmail certain member states, he said. “We cannot see this in the treaties”, he emphasized, adding that Poland has a vision which is different from European centralism.
The democracy deficit has never sunk to levels it has in recent years, Mr Morawieczki said. Decisions are being made behind closed doors, which is a threat to member states, he added.
In early October, Poland’s top court ruled on the primacy of the national constitution in areas where EU law does not have exclusive competence. The court did not question the primacy of Community law in matters where the EU has competence, but it states the national constitution’s prevalence in the legal system.