Justice min insists on primacy of Poland's constitution over EU law

Marcin Obara/PAP

Poland’s justice minister maintains that the Polish constitution has primacy over EU law despite a ruling by the EU’s top court which said that national courts may not apply local regulations that are in conflict with EU law.

Zbigniew Ziobro was reacting to the European Court of Justice's (CJEU) judgement made on Tuesday regarding a case in Romania. The court said that national courts may not apply laws that are contradictory to EU law, regardless of whether they are of a statutory or constitutional rank.

In an interview with PAP on Tuesday, Ziobro said that "the ruling is very serious, because the conclusion of the EU court is not only unacceptable, but also absurd."

Ziobro said that such a view means that: "Sovereign states lose their sovereignty in favour of an entity that they appoint and which can arbitrarily define law that is contradictory to the supreme law of those countries, namely the constitution."

"This would mean that there are no sovereign states in the strict sense as they have a higher power above them that can arbitrarily change the law, because the constitution sets no boundaries," Ziobro continued.

The justice minister, who also leads the nationalist Solidary Poland, a small governing coalition party, said that this confirms that "EU elites are attempting to build an EU state and are trying to reduce nation states to some sort of counties or provinces."

He reiterated that "the Polish constitution is superior to EU law, as it is the main attribute of statehood and national sovereignty."

In late March, Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, formally asked the country's Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether some provisions of the Treaty on the European Union are in line with the Polish constitution.

The prime minister's move came after the CJEU issued a verdict in which it said that Polish courts may rule on whether a judge has been properly appointed.