Poland Claws Back Sovereignty from European Union, by Soeren Kern

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the EU didn’t exist a decade from now. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that Polish law takes precedence over European Union law. The landmark ruling, which seeks to reassert national sovereignty over certain judicial matters, has called into question the legitimacy of the EU’s supranational legal and political order. Pictured: Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal building, in Warsaw. (Image source: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons)

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that Polish law takes precedence over European Union law. The landmark ruling, which seeks to reassert national sovereignty over certain judicial matters, has called into question the legitimacy of the EU’s supranational legal and political order.

The power struggle has angered European federalists, who are seeking to turn the 27-member EU into a European superstate — a United States of Europe — and who do not take kindly to those who challenge their authority.

The EU, which Poland joined in 2004, has vowed to retaliate, including with potential financial penalties. Poland, which threw off the yoke of Soviet domination in 1989, replied that EU institutions are unlawfully overstepping their powers.

Poland is not the only country to challenge the supremacy of EU law. The United Kingdom, once the EU’s second-largest member state, officially left the bloc in 2020 to reclaim its sovereignty from the tentacles of the EU administrative state.

More recently, Germany’s Constitutional Court issued an unprecedented ruling that directly challenged the authority of the European Central Bank to purchase vast amounts of government bonds, a monetary policy known as quantitative easing. The German court ruled that the practice is illegal under German law as neither the German government nor the German parliament signed off on the purchases. The EU’s legal feud with its largest member has threatened to unravel not only Europe’s single currency, the euro, but the EU itself.

Poland says that it has no plans for a “Polexit.” Unlike Britain before its Brexit referendum in 2016, popular support for EU membership remains high. If, however, Poland were to leave the EU, it would cast doubt on the bloc’s future viability.

Poland’s dispute with the EU revolves around sweeping judicial reforms implemented by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) since 2015. The government has argued that its changes were necessary to tackle corruption in a justice system dominated by communist-era judges, but critics, including the European Commission, the EU’s administrative arm, say the reforms have eroded the independence of Poland’s judicial system.

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