Polish constitution prevails over EU law: PM

The Polish constitution has primacy over European law while proposals made by the European Commission do not correspond to the real state of affairs, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

PM Morawiecki also declared he will not withdraw his motion, asking the Constitutional Court to decide whether the Polish constitution stands above EU law.

Earlier, Didier Reynders, the EU’s justice commissioner, appealed for the withdrawal of the prime minister's motion. In late March, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki commissioned the Constitutional Court to check if three points of the Treaty on the European Union were compatible with the Polish constitution. In one of the points, Morawiecki raised doubts as to whether EU law has primacy over Poland's supreme law.

On Thursday, the Polish PM said that the motion had been filed "in order to once again confirm the supremacy of the Polish constitution, which is the highest legal act in the Polish legal system - over EU law."

PM Morawiecki referred to the Polish top court's rulings regarding Poland's accession process to the EU and the Lisbon Treaty.

"Every time, the Tribunal ruled that if there is a collision of legal regulations, they either must be changed or the constitution must be changed if they are not. And this is the logic of EU membership," he said.

The PM went on, saying that this has also been understood by constitutional courts of other member countries, even though "they are not a very significant reference point for us."

In turn, the European Commission is concerned about this motion as it calls into question the fundamental principles of EU law, and in particular the primacy of EU law. According to Brussels, all rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) are binding for the authorities of member states, including national courts.

The European Commission accuses Poland of politicising the justice system because the top judicial self-governing body, the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), is now dominated by ruling party politicians. Poland has also introduced a new disciplinary body at the Supreme Court that can strip judges of immunity, but this body is not recognised by the CJEU.