Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal is set to rule on Tuesday on whether the country’s constitution or European Union treaties take precedence, a judgement that could further strain Warsaw’s already troubled relationship with the bloc.
The catalyst for the ruling has been a long-running dispute with the EU over changes to the court system in Poland, with Brussels angered by what it sees as attempts to undermine the independence of the judiciary. Warsaw accuses Brussels of unjustified meddling in its internal affairs.
The primacy of European laws over national ones is a key tenet of European integration. Opposition politicians in Poland say Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s challenge to this tenet not only jeopardises the country’s long-term future in a union that has helped drive its economic growth, but also the stability of the bloc itself.
“The prime minister…wants to exempt the Polish judiciary from control under EU legal standards,” said Wojciech Sadurski, a law professor at the Universities of Sydney and Warsaw. A ruling that Poland’s constitution takes precedence would be “an act of unprecedented provocation,” he added.