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Opposing reactions show what is at stake in the conflict between the EUGH and the Polish Constitutional Court


The  decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Polish Constitutional Court, which were taken between July 13th and 15th, are not without significance for anyone in Poland. Outside Poland, too few media take note that this conflict of competencies actually affects all Europeans.

For example, the commentator says the  day-spat-gels that the ” three days of July Europe to its foundations erschüt-tern “: ” In the western part of the EU, the pent-up anger over Poland should – and Hungary – breaking train. Can’t you throw them out? It wasn’t the point of eastward expansion that it would ruin our community of values! In the east, on the other hand, many citizens will find satisfaction.

It is high time that someone showed the transgressive moralists in Brussels where the limits of control lie – and insisted on compliance with the contractual distribution of competencies,

what is a matter for the Member States and what is a matter for the EU. Secretly, some citizens in the West should also be happy. 

Indeed, the German author reminds us: “The source of the political and legal legitimacy of the EU are the nation states. What the EU is allowed to do is based on what the member states have transferred to it in the European treaties. The organization of the judiciary is not part of it, nor is it  the definition of what is taught in sex education  and how parents have a say in it. If the EU argues that it does not have direct substantive competence, but can derive its interference from the fact that it has to enforce European values such as democracy, the rule of law and equal treatment, it is walking on thin ice.“The commentator recalls that the German Federal Constitutional Court also rejected the idea of an automatic priority of European law in areas of national jurisdiction last year.

This reaction coincides with the  analysis in Poland  by Jerzy Kwaśniewski, President of the Ordo Iuris Institute, who says that “ the dispute is about whether the EU can expand its competences at will without any control by the member states, up to a federation or a European superstate that would have the power to crush any resistance from national parliaments, governments and courts.

And we are not just talking about illegal interference by the Union in our legal system. It is also about family law, which is expressly excluded from the Union’s competence in the Treaties.

However, in the Coman case, the European Court of Justice instructed Romania to recognize same-sex partnerships and adoptions. We also talk about the recent threats and announcements by the Commission to force Member States to implement instruments related to gender ideology. Finally, there is so mundane but crucial issues such as the massive EU debt and  Kondi-tio-na-li-Taets-me-cha-mechanism that would allow it to refuse on the basis of unclear and arbitrary criteria access to EU funds, through secondary legislation. The dispute is about what the European Union should be and what Poland should be. “

And what applies to Poland, of course, also applies to the other 26 nation states that make up the European Union.

However, in Poland the reactions depend on those  conflict of jurisdiction between the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Polish constitutional-sung-ge-reporting  largely on which side of the debate are the commentators: the center-right majority or conservative or nationalist right-wing opposition on the one Side or the liberal or center-left opposition on the other.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro  , the decision of the Polish Constitutional Court protects ” the Polish constitutional order against illegal interference, usurpation and legal aggression by the EU Insti-tu-tions “.

For Ziobro, if one accepts that the Court of Justice of the European Union can suspend Polish courts, it might as well suspend the President of the Republic or Parliament in the future.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki makes no secret of his frustration with the treatment of Poland by the European Commission and the European Court of Justice: “ I cannot accept the idea that Poland is treated differently or, even worse, discriminated against compared to very similar legal situations in Germany or Spain . “in addition, Morawiecki said:” Nowhere in the contracts was yaws dele-the power to reform the judiciary by the Member States “.

A “legal polexit”?

Adam Bodnar, who until July 15  People’s walt to-  had seen it differently: ” We are still in the process of this legal Polexits, step by step progress. It remains to be seen where it will lead us, or whether at some point we will recognize the path we are on, because even the British may not have known how it would all end . “

Tomasz Grodzki, the marshal (President) of the Senate who is a member of the Civic Platform (PO), the  legitimacy of the Polish constitutional-sung-ge-Richts  has questioned and considers itself that Poland with the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty requires that decisions of the ECJ to respect whatever they may be.

Donald Tusk, former President of the European Council and current President of the European People’s Party and  interim President of the center-left PO , believes that

“ Not Poland, but Kaczyński and his party are leaving the EU. And it is only we Poles who can effectively oppose this.

Contrary to what the PiS propaganda claims, nobody is detaining someone in the EU by force. “Szymon Hołownia, the leader of the centrist party, which is a direct competitor of the PO, takes a similar view and his reaction to the judgment of the Polish Constitutional Court was to propose its dissolution.

However, the State Secretary for Justice Sebastian Kaleta recalled a statement by Grzegorz Schetyna (PO) 11 years ago when he was Marshall (president) of the Sejm: ” The review of the EU law by the constitutional-sung-ge-report  (…)  is permitted. The admissibility of the review of EU secondary law by the Constitutional Court arises from its systemic role as a guarantor of the primacy of the constitution in the system of legal sources and as an organ for the protection of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual. In view of the importance of the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic of Poland, the possibility of checking the conformity of EU regulations with the Constitution must be allowed . ”

Jerzy Kwaśniewski from the Ordo Iuris Institute said:

“ In the name of the balance of power and sovereignty of the member states, the arbitrariness of EU officials must be contained.

One of these controls is the imputation principle of the Treaty, according to which the EU institutions can only act within the limits of the powers conferred on them. However, the CJEU cannot rule on this question as it is itself the institution whose possible takeover of power must be examined. It cannot therefore be the judge in its own right. The constitutional courts are the appropriate place to review EU secondary law, as the Union exercises its powers within the limits of the powers conferred on it by national constitutions. 

This article was first published by VISEGRÁD POST , our partner in the EUROPEAN MEDIA COOPERATION.


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