Saturday, June 12, 2021

The European Commission demands that Poland withdraws the PM’s questions to the Constitutional Tribunal

 The EC wrote a letter to the Polish government with an appeal to withdraw the Polish prime minister’s application to the Constitutional Tribunal. EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders sent a letter to the Minister for European Affairs, Konrad Szymański, and to the Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro. It concerns the application submitted by the Prime Minister to the Constitutional Tribunal on March 29, 2021 and the concerns raised by this application with regard to the principle of sincere cooperation and the rule of law.

In a letter, Reynders writes that the proposal seems to undermine the fundamental principles of EU law. In particular, the principle that EU law takes precedence over national law and the rulings of the Court of Justice of the EU are binding on all national courts and other bodies of the member states.

According to the Commissioner, the proposal questions the authority of the Court of Justice in interpreting the EU Treaties. In his opinion, the request of the PM breaches the obligation to cooperate sincerely, as he is actively seeking to obtain from the Constitutional Tribunal a declaration questioning the validity of the interpretation made by the Court of Justice of the fundamental principles of EU law.

On behalf of the Commission, Reynders asks Szymański, but not the PM, to withdraw the application submitted to the Constitutional Tribunal.

In the 129-page application, the Prime Minister asked about the constitutionality of three provisions of the Treaty on European Union. Most importantly about compliance with the Polish constitution of the principle of primacy of EU law and sincere cooperation between the EU and its member states.

The provisions which the prime minister challenged entitle, or even obligate, the national authorities to ignore the Polish constitution and apply legal requirements inconsistent with it.

As emphasized in the Prime Minister’s application, such an understanding of the provisions “raises far-reaching and justified constitutional doubts, finding no confirmation of that in the text of the treaties that are subject to the Constitutional Tribunal’s control.”

In other words, the Constitutional Tribunal’s opinion on the matter might be very INCONVENIENT to the European Commission.