Friday, July 16, 2021

Poland pushes back in the battle against EU rule, EU talks of 'Polexit'

 While European media suddenly, and for some strange reason uniformly, talk about 'Polexit,' Polish politicians simply say that Poland never delegated powers to the EU to organize its administration of justice.

Professor Małgorzata Manowska, First President of Poland's Supreme Court, said that the Supreme Court will not recognize the interference of the Luxembourg Tribunal in the Polish judiciary. Prof. Manowska also decided to "unfreeze" the Disciplinary Chamber on the matters of disciplinary cases of judges.

"The Supreme Court, like other judiciary bodies, rules on behalf of the Republic of Poland. When judges take office, they swear an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Poland, and in exercising their office they are independent and are subject only to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and its laws," says the statement of the First President of the Supreme Court.

"The provision of the CJEU also shows that European law does not cover the area of the organization of the judiciary, as the Member States are competent in this area. Therefore, it is clear from the Treaties that make up the EU that the Republic of Poland has not transferred the competence to the Union to legislate in the field of the administration of justice in the Republic of Poland. According to Article 176, section 2, of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the structure and jurisdiction of courts as well as the proceedings before the courts are determined by statutes. This provision determines that the exclusive competence to legislate in this area is vested in the Sejm and the Senate of the Republic of Poland, cooperating with the President of the Republic of Poland. The law of the European Union does not have priority in this area over the provisions of statutes. These systemic principles were confirmed in the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of July 14, 2021 in case P 7/20."

All of that started when the current government and Sejm tried to end the corruption among the judiciary, which enjoys immunity from prosecution in criminal cases like theft, corruption, and driving while intoxicated. Obviously, corruption among the judiciary is a serious matter because it undermines the public trust in law and order. At least once a week, we can hear in the media about former communist party members not being prosecuted for serious crimes while others face the full weight of the law in trivial cases. That cannot stand, and the government tries to change that. But, because it is a conservative party in power, the EU sees the need to "defend its values."

Poland's Constitutional Court is expected to rule soon on whether EU law takes primacy over Poland's Constitution. The decision on Wednesday was seen as an indication of how the tribunal's judges might rule.

If the court rules against the Polish government, the EU Court of Justice will be able to force the country to suspend part of its judicial reforms. The opposite will mean Poland can either amend its Constitution, seek to amend EU law, or even withdraw from the bloc.

Dutch MEP Jeroen Lenaers said after Wednesday's ruling from Poland's top court that "the refusal to implement rulings of the European Court of Justice in Poland is a clear step towards taking Poland out of the European Union."

"We fear that the Polish government is on the path to Polexit," he added.

However, it seems that EU institutions like the European Commission are the ones that push Poland toward 'Polexit' in hopes of creating political crises that will result in 'regime change.'