The European Commission last Friday decided to instigate the second stage of proceedings for rule of law violations against Poland as a result of Polish constitutional court rulings last year on the primacy of Polish constitutional law over EU law.
The Polish court ruled that the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) rulings with regard to Poland’s judiciary were contrary to the Polish constitution. Poland now has two months to answer the charges before the Commission decides whether to put the case before the ECJ.
MEP Zbigniew Kuźmiuk told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that he was shocked by the Commission’s decision. “Attempts at destabilizing relations with Poland are a kind of madness. Nothing good can come of this,” said the senior Polish ruling party MEP.
Kuźmiuk added that up until Friday it looked as if there was an agreement between the European Commission and Poland and that the dispute over the Supreme Court would be the last. However, he believes that the new dispute is impossible for the Polish government to solve, as it involves the constitutional court over which the government does not and should not have any jurisdiction.
Kuźmiuk added that the ruling by the constitutional court was merely a repetition of the 2010 ruling about the primacy of the Polish constitution over EU law. He expressed regret that at a moment when the EU is facing war close to its borders, the European Commission is “trying to destabilize its relations with states that are coping with matters that the Commission itself has not managed to.”
“We are a hub for military support for Ukraine,” the MEP said, arguing that if the EU is serious about helping Ukraine, it cannot do so without Poland.
According to Kuźmiuk, Poland is implementing the agreement reached with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the dissolution of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court. He added that if the Commission is breaking that agreement and attacking Poland, that is its choice. The agreement he is citing enabled the Commission to decide to approve Poland’s operational program for the country’s share of the EU Recovery Fund.
The dissolution of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court is the effect of the ECJ’s decision in July of last year with regard to that chamber being in violation of the principles of the rule of law. In December of 2021 the European Commission called on Poland to tackle the violation of the rule of law concerning the constitutional court declaring primacy of Polish constitutional law over EU law.