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Polish Supreme Court Throws Gauntlet at EU’s Door: Sovereignty Means Something

Oct. 8, 2021 (EIRNS)—Following changes Poland made to its judiciary system, it has been the subject of persistent criticism by the European Union Commission that the new laws are “not compatible” with European standards, with threats of fines and freezing EU payments to Poland. But these threats have not changed Poland’s determination. On the contrary, the Polish Constitutional Court on Oct. 7, in a case filed by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki over their organization of their judicial system, ruled that “substantial parts of the European treaties are not in accordance with the Polish Constitution.” Judge Bartłomiej Sochański said: “The EU Treaty is subordinate to the Constitution in the Polish legal system ... and, like any part of the Polish legal system, it must comply with the Constitution.”

Today, Morawiecki declared: “Constitutional law has superiority over other sources of law.... We have the same rights as other countries. We want these rights to be respected. We are not an uninvited guest in the European Union. And that’s why we don’t agree to be treated as a second-class country.... Poland’s place is and will be in the European family of nations.”

The ruling was welcomed by Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Law and Justice (PiS), the largest party in Poland’s governing coalition, saying that “any different ruling would effectively mean that Poland is not a sovereign state.”

René Repasi, a professor of international and European law at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, told Britain’s daily Guardian that the ruling was a “legal revolution ... this is furthest step towards a legal exit from the EU ever taken by a national court.”

Poland’s sovereign act did not go unnoticed. Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn threatened on Oct. 7: “This government in Poland is playing with fire. The primacy of European law is essential for the integration of Europe and living together in Europe. If this principle is broken, Europe as we know it, as it has been built with the Rome treaties, will cease to exist.”

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