CJEU: Brussels tries to stop the rebellion of the Polish Constitutional against European norms | International

Brussels remains firm in its strategy of not giving up an inch in the tense battle it has with Poland on account of the rule of law. The European Commission this Wednesday initiated an infringement procedure against this country considering that its Constitutional Court “expressly challenged” the primacy of community law. This body issued two judgments, one in July and the other in October, which have caused an institutional earthquake and have placed the Eastern partner on the brink of a legal break with the EU.

The disputed decisions of the highest guarantor of the Polish Constitution ruled that several articles of the European treaties are unconstitutional in their country and questioned the obligation to comply with the provisions of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). With the last one, the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, lost patience and assured that she would do everything in her power to beat the pulse: “We are not going to tolerate putting our common values ​​at risk” , he snapped at the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki in a debate in the European Parliament.

Doubts about fairness

“The Commission has serious doubts about the independence and impartiality of the Constitutional Court and considers that it no longer meets the requirements of a court previously established by law, as required by article 19.1 of the EU Treaty,” the Community Executive said this Wednesday to Through the statement with which it has announced the start of the procedure. This precept of the treaties, which places the CJEU at the top of the legal architecture of the EU and obliges the member states to guarantee the effective judicial protection of their citizens, is precisely one of those questioned by Warsaw in its judgments.

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“We consider that these cases do not comply with the general principles of autonomy, primacy, effectiveness and uniform application of Union law and the binding effect of the judgments of the Court of Justice”, has considered the European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, in a hearing , when announcing the Brussels coup. “The EU is a community of values ​​and rights, and the rights of Europeans under the treaties have to be protected, regardless of where they live.”

The initiative of the Community Executive, which has taken more than two months to move this tab, tries to place the Polish Government on the ropes, while both parties continue to negotiate the reform of its judicial system, an essential requirement for the Commission to approve the plan Polish recovery. Brussels asks that Warsaw dismantle the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, a body that violates the independence of judges, according to Brussels. Now the Polish Government has two months to respond to the formal notification of the Community Executive.

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At the end of October, the EU Court of Justice forced Poland to pay the European Commission a fine of one million euros a day for not paralyzing the activities of this disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. This measure, adopted by the European justice system to prevent the “political control” of the judges from causing a “serious and irreparable damage”, while the body is still running, also has its origin in the long battle of the Community Executive to stop the illiberal drift from Poland.

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In some way, the judicial and political mess between Warsaw and the Commission is reminiscent of a messy skein that always revolves around the same thing – judicial independence, the rule of law – and to which layers are added with each movement on the board. . Every action has a reaction and the procedures are added to the sentences, and these to the precautionary measures, and these in turn to the fines and sanctions, forming a very complex amalgam of which it is easy to lose the thread.

The two sentences against which Brussels has raised the infringement procedure this Wednesday have as their background the reforms of the Polish judicial system, which Brussels has tried to put in check since 2019, considering that it is trying to increase the political control of judges. The Warsaw Government, on the other hand, pulls its nails and claims to be defending its country from the growing interference of an EU with a centralizing vocation that meddles in internal affairs.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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