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A conservative view on the clash between Poland and the EU

November 5th, 2021

A conservative lawyer believes both sides have valid arguments in the dispute over the widely contested ruling by Poland’s Constitutional Court in the conflict between national versus European law, as the provisions of the basic treaty of the European Union are not unequivocal.

On Hungarian Conservative, an English-language bimonthly review, constitutional lawyer Soma Hegedős rejects the dominant EU interpretation that the Polish Constitutional Court declared the primacy of national law over European law. (See BudaPost, October 29.) As he sees it, the court merely said that certain provisions of the Lisbon treaty as interpreted by the European Court of Justice are incompatible with Poland’s constitution. The same Polish court, under previous parliamentary majorities, ruled in 2005 and in 2010 that international treaties including the transfer of powers to the European Union could not infringe on the primacy of the constitution, he adds. The latest ruling was harshly criticised by the President of the European Commission who threatened ‘action’, while the European Court of Justice retaliated by imposing a daily €1 million fine on Poland, because both read the Lisbon treaty as a declaration of the primacy of European over national law. The Lisbon treaty, in fact, leaves the contradiction between national sovereignty and ‘an ever closer union’ unresolved, Hegedős asserts, and that is why, he concludes, both sides ‘warring over the future of Europe’ feel they can rightfully refer to the treaty as substantiating their positions.

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