Brussels responds to the Polish order. The European Commission has decided this Wednesday to initiate an infringement procedure against Poland for “serious concerns regarding the Polish Constitutional Court and its recent jurisprudence.”
The Polish Constitutional Court removes the country from the legal order of the European Union
The Constitutional Court, in its judgments of July 14, 2021 and October 7, 2021, considered the provisions of the EU Treaties incompatible with the Polish Constitution, expressly questioning the primacy of EU law.
Poland has two months to respond to the formal notice.
The European Commission considers that these judgments of the Constitutional Court “violate 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 of the European Union”.
In particular, says the Community Executive, in its July ruling, “the Constitutional Court denied the binding effect of the precautionary measures issued by the Court of Justice of the EU to guarantee effective judicial control by an independent and impartial court.”
In its October ruling, moreover, “the Constitutional Court ignored its obligations under EU law by considering unconstitutional the interpretation of the Court of Justice according to which a national court can control the legality of the procedure for the appointment of a judge and rule on any irregularity in the appointment process to verify whether said judge, or the court in which the judge judges, meets the European independence requirements. ”
Furthermore, the European Commission considers that these judgments violate the EU treaty, which guarantees the right to effective judicial protection, by giving it an unduly restrictive interpretation. “Therefore, it deprives people before the Polish courts of the full guarantees established in that provision,” says the Community Executive.
Finally, the Community Executive 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 the EU Treaty.”
Brussels recalls that “as the European Court of Human Rights held in its judgment of May 7, 2021, the process of appointment to the Constitutional Court of three judges in December 2015 occurred in a violation of the fundamental rules that are an integral part of the establishment and operation of the constitutional control system in Poland. The seriousness of this violation raises a reasonable doubt about the independence and impartiality of the judges. This is also demonstrated by other irregularities and deficiencies such as the election of the president and vice president of the Constitutional Court, which led to serious concerns about the impartiality of the magistrates of the Constitutional Court in the processing of individual cases “.
The European Commission considers that, therefore, the Polish Constitutional Court “can no longer guarantee effective judicial protection by an independent and impartial court”.