Constitution wins over EU’s attempt to interfere – justice min

"The constitution and normality prevails over the attempt to use EU agencies to politically interfere in the internal affairs of the member states," Zbigniew Ziobro said. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The Polish justice minister has expressed his satisfaction with Poland’s top court Wednesday ruling that the interim measures imposed on the Polish judicial system by the top European court are against the Polish constitution.

"The constitution and normality prevails over the attempt to use EU agencies to politically interfere in the internal affairs of the member states," Zbigniew Ziobro said.

Earlier in the day, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) told Warsaw to immediately suspend the Polish Supreme Court's disciplinary chamber, a panel created by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to discipline judges.

"No state can allow a foreign body of an international organization to have the power to suspend the bodies of a member state, a sovereign state, as the CJEU wanted to do," Ziobro said.

He added that Wednesday's ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal (TK) on interim measures by the CJEU was "the only possible verdict," which he "welcomed with satisfaction."

He said that the TK ruling was to protect the Polish constitutional order "against unlawful interference, usurpation, and legal aggression by EU bodies, which, having no grounds for doing so, tried to suspend the constitutional organs of the Polish state."

Donald Tusk, Poland's former prime minister and former European Council president, who has recently returned to domestic politics to lead Poland's main opposition party, the Civic Platform (PO), took to Twitter on Wednesday to comment on the TK’s ruling.

"It is not Poland, but Kaczyński and his party that are leaving the EU. And only we, Poles, can successfully oppose it. Because, contrary to the PiS propaganda, nobody is holding anyone by force in the EU," Tusk wrote.

Borys Budka, deputy head of PO, said that the constitutional court’s ruling is "purely political" and serves to "legalize lawlessness."

"This is an attempt to circumvent the law, an attempt to use the political Tribunal de facto to exclude the control of Polish law for non-compliance with European law," he added.

In his opinion, "not without reason" two TK judges and former PiS politicians, Stanislaw Piotrowicz and Krystyna Pawłowicz, were delegated to rule on the matter.

In Budka’s opinion, the Wednesday ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal does not change anything, because Poland is obliged to apply the provisions of the EU treaties.

The deputy speaker of the Senate, Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka from the Left grouping, said Wednesday's ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal has no legal significance and only shows that the country is "falling into the depths of lawlessness."

According to her, Poland is now facing an open conflict with the EU.

"The worst, however, is what the government is doing intentionally: slowly but successively it is leading us out of the circle of European law into the depths of an authoritarian, unlawful country," she added.

Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki said Poland should comply with the CJEU decision if the country "does not want to fall out of the EU's orbit."

In his opinion, if Poland ignores the European court’s order this will be a clear signal that the country is "preparing for Polexit."

Poland’s ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, said that the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling "is a say that we will not listen to the Court of Justice of the EU."

In his opinion, it is aimed at removing the Polish judiciary from EU jurisdiction.

Szymon Hołownia, the head of Polska 2050, a relatively young conservative movement, said that due to PiS's "frolics," Poland will mean less and less in the EU.

"PiS brought the Constitutional Tribunal to a collapse in all respects and the Tribunal has become a political puppet," he said.

In his opinion, TK’s Wednesday's verdict means that PiS despises Polish citizens.

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