October 28
2021
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Daniel Sarmiento
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7th October 2021
General Development

Polish Constitutional Court declares EU Treaties ultra vires in Poland

In a landmark ruling issued today, the Polish Constitutional Court has declared the EU Treaties ultra vires in Poland. Following a series of unfavourable rulings from the Court of Justice on the independence of Polish courts, the Polish Government brought an action before the Polish Constitutional Court questioning the primacy of EU law as interpreted by the Court of Justice.

In today’s ruling, the Polish Constitutional Court rules as follows:

“I. The first and the second subparagraphs of Article 1 TEU, in conjunction with Article 4(3) TEU, in so far as the European Union – established by the equal and sovereign Member States, creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe, and whose integration on the basis of Union law and through its interpretation made by the Court of Justice marks a new stage – in which:

1)        the Union’s institutions act beyond the limits of competences transferred by the Republic of Poland in the Treaties;

2)        the Constitution is not the supreme law of the Republic of Poland and does not have precedence as of its binding force and application;

3)        the Republic of Poland cannot function as a democratic and sovereign state,

are inconsistent with Article 2, Article 8 and Article 90(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

II. The second subparagraph of Article 19(1) TEU, in so far as in order to ensure effective legal protection in the fields covered by Union law confers on the national courts: the ordinary courts, the administrative courts, the military courts and the Supreme Court the power to:

1)        disapply, within the exercise of their functions, the provisions of the Constitution – is inconsistent with Article 2, Article 7, Article 8(1), Article 90(1) and Article 178(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland;

2)        rule on the basis of provisions not in force: repealed by the Sejm or declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Tribunal – is inconsistent with Article 2, Article 7, Article 8(1), Article 90(1), Article 178(1) and Article 190(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

In a statement following the court’s ruling, the European Commission reaffirmed the primacy of EU law and reminded that “EU law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions”.

The Commission also added that it “will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the Treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law.”

Read the Commission’s full press release here.

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