Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took a stand on Tuesday (9.00 am) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on his country’s controversial judicial reforms. The latest ruling by the Polish Constitutional Court, which questions the primacy of EU law, should play a prominent role in the debate. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has strongly criticized the ruling, is also expected to participate in Parliament.
The conservative nationalist PiS government has been restructuring Poland’s judiciary for years. Its critics accuse it of putting pressure on judges and depriving them of independence. So the EU Commission initiated several infringement proceedings against Warsaw. In part, the European Court of Justice has declared the reforms illegal.
At the beginning of October, the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that parts of EU law contradict Poland’s constitution. The EU Commission considers this decision very problematic because it may give the Polish government an excuse to ignore the unpleasant rulings of the European Court of Justice. The EU Commission sees absolute priority for EU law over national law.
How to resolve the dispute is not clear. From the point of view of countries like Luxembourg or the Netherlands, Poland should actually leave the EU if it does not want to fully comply with the law of the community. Morawiecki recently emphasized that his country’s exit from the European Union is not an option. A large part of the population rates EU membership favorably.
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