Monday, December 13, 2021

Poland vs. European Union: A Battle of Political Sovereignty


EU Poland sovereignty history communism independence republicanism

Across the pond, Poland and the European Union find themselves deadlocked over a question about judicial primacy. In early October, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal sparked controversy when it ruled that EU law does not supersede national legislation.

At stake in the EU-Poland legal dispute, was Poland’s decision in 2018 to rein in its judiciary and establish a disciplinary chamber to remove judges. Before these reforms were undertaken, the Polish judiciary was largely viewed as corrupt and inefficient, possessing vestigial features of the previous Communist order, when Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact. What initially started out as a mundane domestic reform soon transformed into an international controversy.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) took exception to Poland’s reforms and ruled that EU law takes precedence over Polish law. The ECJ’s ruling did not deter Poland, though. Back in March, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki brought the case before the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, subsequently leading to the Polish tribunal’s controversial ruling in October. Following the October ruling, the EU commission had choice words for Poland’s superior court and reaffirmed its EU-law-über-alles stance.

Possessed by a universalist spirit, the EU ramped up the pressure on Poland by slapping it with a daily fine of €1 million euros (slightly over $1.1 million) until the Law and Justice (PiS, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) government modifies its judicial legislation to align with EU standards.

The Poles remain intransigent. They know what is at stake. Having gone through a series of partitions in the late eighteenth century in addition to being placed under the Soviet Union’s thumb via the Warsaw Pact in the twentieth century, Poles’ skepticism toward supranational entities and hostile external actors is justified. The former Soviet satellite will not compromise on its sovereignty both as a matter of principle and national identity.  (more...)

Poland vs. European Union: A Battle of Political Sovereignty

No comments:

Post a Comment