Poland's top court delays ruling in EU law primacy case

The Constitutional Tribunal on Wednesday adjourned until September 30 a case on whether the Polish constitution takes precedence over EU law.

The adjournment delays, once again, the possibility of a ruling that has the potential to pose a significant obstacle to Polish-EU relations.

If the Tribunal rules that the Polish constitution has primacy over EU law, it could further stress Warsaw’s relations with Brussels as the primacy of EU law over national law is a key tenet of EU membership.

The Tribunal was due to issue the ruling on August 31 but it was then postponed until September 22 after a motion was lodged by the Ombudsman's calling for the exclusion of one judge from the panel.

But Julia Przyłębska, the head of the Tribunal, said after hearing the parties on Wednesday, that "due to the emergence of new circumstances, and to be able to prepare for the next hearing, the Constitutional Tribunal adjourns until September 30."

The case came before the Tribunal in late March when Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked it to check if three points of the Treaty on the European Union were compatible with the Polish constitution.

Morawiecki said that the motion had been filed with the Constitutional Tribunal "in order to once again and additionally confirm the supremacy of the Polish constitution, which is the highest legal act in the Polish legal system - over EU law."

At the beginning of the month, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Paolo Gentiloni appeared to suggest that negotiations between Brussels and Warsaw on Poland's National Recovery Plan were being drawn out by Poland calling into question the primacy of European Union law over national legislation in a case regarding changes to the Polish judicial system.