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Deputy justice minister says EU violates treaties in procedure against Poland

15.07.2022 22:30
A Polish deputy justice minister has slammed the European Commission for seeking to extend its powers beyond EU treaties, after Brussels stepped up an infringement procedure against Poland. 
Sebastian Kaleta.
Sebastian Kaleta.PAP/Rafał Guz

Sebastian Kaleta made the criticism in an interview with the state PAP news agency on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the European Commission, the executive arm of the 27-nation European Union, said it was adopting the second step in an infringement procedure against Poland “for violations of EU law by the Constitutional Tribunal.”

According to Brussels, two 2021 rulings by the Polish Constitutional Tribunal were in breach of “Article 19(1) of the Treaty on European Union and the general principles of autonomy, primacy, effectiveness and uniform application of Union law and the binding effect of rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

In these rulings, the Polish court “considered the provisions of the EU Treaties incompatible with the Polish Constitution, expressly challenging the primacy of EU law,” the European Commission said.

Brussels launched the infringement procedure last December, giving Poland two months to reply to its letter of formal notice. 

Poland replied on February 22, but the response did not address the Commission’s concerns, Brussels said. 

For this reason, on Friday the EU’s executive decided to launch the next step in the infringement procedure. 

It gave Poland two months “to take the necessary measures to comply with EU law,” warning that otherwise “the Commission may refer the case to the CJEU.”

‘Another attempt' by Brussels to 'extend its powers in violation of EU treaties'

Commenting on this move, Poland’s Kaleta said: “This is unacceptable. It’s yet another attempt by the European Commission to extend its powers in violation of the EU treaties.”

He added that, in line with the Polish constitution, Polish authorities are bound by the rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal, which are universally valid in the country.

According to Kaleta, the European Commission does not treat all members of the bloc equally.

He told the PAP news agency: “There are countries which are allowed to have a constitution and shape relations with the EU on this basis, and there are others whose constitutions are to be thrown into the bin.” 

Kaleta also said that the European Commission was seeking to take Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) “for actually having a binding constitution which says that international treaties are examined by the Constitutional Tribunal.”

He argued that the rulings of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal were similar to recent decisions by its counterparts in Germany, Spain and Romania, which “questioned the CJEU’s attempt to extend its powers.”

“The European Commission’s appetites are growing and now it’s blackmailing Poland over purely systemic issues,” Kaleta said.


Source: PAPgazetaprawna.plec.europa.eu