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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Most Poles say national law has primacy over EU law: survey

12.02.2020 13:20
Most Poles believe that their national law takes precedence over European Union law, according to a new survey.
Poland has been a member of the European Union since May 1, 2004.
Poland has been a member of the European Union since May 1, 2004.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Seventy-eight percent of those polled by the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily and private radio broadcaster RMF FM said the Polish constitution had primacy over the laws of the European Union, of which Poland has been part since 2004.

Sixty-three percent said national law as a whole should take precedence over EU law, according to the gazetaprawna.pl website.

The survey’s findings have been welcomed by politicians from Poland’s governing United Right coalition, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, opposition politicians have slammed the government for putting the country on a collision course with Brussels, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna said.

The survey was released after European lawmakers a day earlier held a debate on the rule of law in Poland amid a protracted spat between Warsaw and Brussels over contested judicial changes.

The paper quoted Polish Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta as saying that "regardless of how someone may feel" about changes made to Poland's justice system by the country's ruling conservatives, "a vast majority of the public believes the dispute should be resolved domestically, in our own backyard, without the involvement of foreign institutions."

However, the paper said, when responding to another question, almost half those surveyed positively evaluated the fact that EU institutions have become involved in the ongoing dispute over legal changes in Poland.

The percentage of those welcoming this involvement was higher than the proportion of those critical, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

The paper also quoted Prof. Robert Grzeszczak, an expert on EU law at the University of Warsaw, as saying that "in a situation where there is a conflict between Polish and Community law, the latter takes precedence."

Grzeszczak also argued, as cited by the paper, that EU law is "not foreign to us because it is created by Polish parliamentarians, government ministers and officials. It's just that this happens in Brussels, not Warsaw."

In another recent survey, an overwhelming 80.7 percent of Poles said their country was unlikely to leave the European Union anytime in the near future, according to the dorzeczy.pl website.

(gs/pk)

Source: gazetaprawna.pl