A Polish government minister told Breitbart the European Union was violating Poland’s constitution as his country prepares for a legal showdown with Brussels. Poland’s top court has rejected moves by EU judges to block judicial reforms in the country, and the Polish government says it is being mistreated because it is a conservative government which “stands for Christian values”.
Stanisław Piotrowicz, a member of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, said interim injunctions against Polish court reforms from the European Court of Justice are “not in line” with the Polish constitution — essentially rejecting the EU’s presumed right to the final say over member-states’ internal legal systems.
Poland’s governing Law and Justice party (PiS) has been trying to reform the “deeply flawed judicial structure” which emerged from the wreck of the former Communist regime, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arguing that “No democratic nation can long accept having any branch of government independent of checks, balances, and public accountability.”
The EU has fought these reforms every step of the way, however, with EU judges’ interim ruling to “immediately suspend” a new Disciplinary Chamber empowered to strip judges’ immunity from prosecution for crimes and sanction them for engaging in political activity being the bloc’s latest salvo against Warsaw.
The Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s move to effectively disregard the EU ruling marks a sharp escalation in the conflict.
“Against the wishes of the vast majority of Polish people who want a [European Union] future, the populist governing PiS party is determined to [get Poland] out of the EU,” alleged Guy Verhofstadt, a former Prime Minister of Belgium, the European Parliament’s erstwhile representative in the Brexit negotiations, and a devoted European federalist, on social media.
“Will anyone act to stop them before it is too late?” the MEP demanded.
Polish Leader: EU Won't 'Blackmail' Poland Into Giving Up Values, Surrendering Sovereignty https://t.co/VFyLlGegcA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 17, 2020
Defending the judicial reforms and the Constitutional Tribunal’s defiance of the European Court of Justice, the Polish government’s deputy justice minister, Sebastian Kaleta, told Breitbart London that recent events were merely confirmation that the European Union — ostensibly a free trade bloc — has “no competence to interfere in the judicial system of Poland”, and that its attempts to do so “violated the [European] treaties and the Polish constitution.”
Minister Kaleta noted the Polish court’s citation of “several judgments in other EU countries” including Germany, France, and Romania that national constitutions stand above EU treaties, and insisted that the European Commission and Court of Justice are trying to “create by force” an area of competence for themselves over national judiciaries which is not provided for in EU treaties.
“We see double standards in the treatment of Poland,” Kaleta explained.
“The main charge against our reforms of the judiciary is that they politicise the system, but our system is the same as it is in Spain. Spain isn’t under any proceedings,” he claimed.
“This is about politics, because Poland is the country with the strongest conservative government in the EU which stands for Christian values,” he suggested.
It is no secret that the EU has been much more active in interfering in Poland’s domestic affairs since Law and Justice returned to government in an election landslide in 2015 and immediately moved to reject the bloc’s efforts to impose compulsory migrant redistribution quotas on member-states.
Minister Kaleta explicitly rejected claims that the Polish government was pushing the country towards “Polexit”, however, dismissing this as “propaganda of liberals” trying to “scare Polish people” into believing that any disagreement with the EU would result in “isolation”.
Like their allies in Hungary, the Polish government officially subscribes to something like the old “in Europe, not run by Europe” doctrine pursued by British Conservatives who purported to be “eurosceptic” but did not advocate leaving the EU — although their Central European successors seem far more willing to take a firm stand against Brussels than they ever did.
Polish Prime Minister: EU 'Oligarchy' Wielding 'Propaganda Bludgeon' Like Former Communist Regime https://t.co/o99nXw3sMb
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 22, 2020
The EU’s unelected governing body, the European Commission, has for its part stressed EU supremacy in response to the dispute.
“The Commission has always been very clear on this matter and reaffirms once more: EU law has primacy over national law; all decisions by the European Court of Justice, including orders for interim measures, are binding on all Member states’ authorities and national courts,” it declared in an official statement quoted by Euronews — perhaps inadvertently strengthening the referendum-era claims of British Brexiteers that EU membership is incompatible with national sovereignty.
Poland's new Prime Minister explains precisely why it is so important his nation reforms their Communist-era hangover judiciary https://t.co/7WDQz1T7ZK
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 15, 2017