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Tags: Poland | Europe

Court Meeting over Whether EU or Polish Law Has Primacy

Tuesday, 31 August 2021 04:00 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's constitutional court is due to convene on Tuesday and could finally give its postponed ruling on whether Polish or European Union law has primacy in the country.

The ruling is expected to define the future relationship of the EU member nation with the rest of the bloc.

The court, which is largely made up of judges nominated by Poland’s conservative, nationalist ruling party, agreed to examine the matter at the request of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

He asked for the review in March after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that EU law takes precedence over the Polish Constitution. That came amid a larger dispute over changes to the larger Polish court system, initiated by the ruling Law and Justice party, which the EU views as an erosion of democratic checks and balances.

A ruling by the constitutional court had been expected earlier in the year but had been postponed.

Law and Justice has made a number of changes to the operation of Poland’s judiciary since taking power in 2015. It argues reforms were needed to improve the efficiency of the court system and to fight corruption. Critics, however, see the changes as an attempt by Law and Justice to gain control in a way that erodes the democratic balance of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

In the spring, retired judges from the court expressed concerns that the procedure could be a step toward Poland’s eventual departure from the EU. On Monday, pro-democracy activists pushed their way onto the grounds of the court to voice their opposition to the court, which they don't consider to be legitimate, in part because the ruling party put three loyalists on the court in an illegal maneuver early in its tenure.

Countries that join the EU are supposed to bring their laws and regulations in line with other member nations in areas ranging from competition and trade to justice affairs and corruption, among many others. Poland, a former communist state, joined the bloc in 2004, and the economic growth and travel freedoms that have come with membership have made EU membership very popular.

The Polish government argued in March that the EU court had overstepped its authority by declaring the superiority of European law over the Polish Constitution.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said last week that the EU’s criticism amounts to “hybrid warfare” against the Polish legal system.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Poland's constitutional court is due to convene on Tuesday and could finally give its postponed ruling on whether Polish or European Union law has primacy in the country.The ruling is expected to define the future relationship of the EU member nation with the rest of the...
Poland,Europe
407
2021-00-31
Tuesday, 31 August 2021 04:00 AM
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