EC concerned over Polish top court's ruling

The European Commission (EC) has expressed deep concern over a ruling by Poland's top court which has stated that interim measures regarding the functioning of the Polish judiciary system imposed by the EU court are incompatible with the Polish Constitution.

That decision reaffirmed worries over the rule of law in Poland, a spokesman for the European Commission said in Brussels on Thursday.

According to Eric Mamer, the EC has always presented a clear position regarding this problem and has again confirmed that EU laws take precedence over national ones.

All rulings issued by the European Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), including the ones concerning interim measures, are binding for national institutions and courts, he stated.

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal (TK) ruled on Wednesday that the EU Treaty provisions "to the extent that the CJEU imposes ultra vires obligations on the Republic of Poland as an EU member state by issuing interim measures relating to the system and jurisdiction of Polish courts and the mode of procedure before Polish courts is inconsistent" with the Polish constitution.

A legal query in the matter was addressed to the TK by the Disciplinary Chamber of Poland's Supreme Court. This occurred after a CJEU decision in April in which the EU court obliged Poland to suspend the application of laws relating to the Disciplinary Chamber in the disciplinary matters of judges.

On Thursday, the CJEU ruled that Poland's new disciplinary regime for judges is not compatible with EU law. In its verdict, the European court upheld all the charges made by the EC and decided that Poland had not met its obligations stemming from EU law.