On 12 October, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruling, which found that parts of EU law were "incompatible" with the Polish Constitution, entered into force. This decision reverses the hierarchy of norms by placing the Polish Constitution over the EU Treaties the country ratified once entering into the EU. Currently, guarantees for proper respect of the law are at stake.
The Polish Tribunal's ruling will primarily affect the Poles, who will no longer have any guarantees that the freedoms and rights resulting from EU membership will be properly implemented. Relations between the EU and Poland will not rest on solid legal basis, which could potentially prevent Polish people from fully benefitting from the advantages of EU membership.
European businesses, workers and civil society as a whole will also be collateral victims, as this ruling undermines legal certainty and equality before the law. These all lie at the heart of the European Union and are the basis for the mutual trust which is essential for the proper functioning of the EU legal order, the Internal Market and cross-border investments.
I call on the Polish authorities to fully comply with their obligations to guarantee the rule of law, in particular by swiftly implementing the decisions of the European Court of Justice concerning the independence of the judiciary. Poland must urgently re-establish all the legal guarantees it had undertaken upon entering into the EU.
As regards the Recovery and Resilience Facility, I ask EU institutions for the immediate activation of the rule of law budget conditionality tool to make sure that all EU citizens can rely on the full protection of their values of freedom, individual dignity, social solidarity and legal order as such. The Polish population and civil society deserve the primacy of EU law to be swiftly restored, to also enable them to fully benefit from Recovery and Resilience Funds.
Statement by Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
14 October 2021