WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Parliament adopted a resolution Thursday calling on Poland’s prime minister to cancel a case in which he asks a top Polish court whether Poland’s or the European Union's law takes precedence in the country.
The court’s ruling, when it eventually comes, could be of fundamental nature for the EU legal order and for Poland's relations with the bloc. Poland's right-wing government insists that law systems are the sole responsibility of member states, not of the EU.
In their resolution, the European lawmakers stressed the “fundamental nature of primacy of EU law as a cornerstone principle of EU law,” to which all 27 members have agreed in adopting EU treaties.
They called on Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki “not to question the primacy of EU law over national legislation and to withdraw his motion, pending before the illegitimate ‘Constitutional Tribunal’, to review the constitutionality of certain parts of the EU Treaties.”
The resolution was backed by 502 European lawmakers, while 149 were against and 36 abstained. Although a strong statement, the document has no binding power.
Morawiecki asked the Constitutional Tribunal for the review in March after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that EU law takes precedence over the Polish Constitution. That ruling came amid a larger dispute over changes to the Polish court system, initiated by the governing Law and Justice party, which the EU views as an erosion of democratic principles and the rule of law in Poland.
The next session in the dragging case is set for Sept. 22.
The lawmakers call on the EU Commission, the bloc's executive arm, to launch sanctioning infringement procedures against Poland regarding the continued operation of the Constitutional Tribunal, which is seen as illegitimate due to the political influence on its composition, consisting largely of government loyalists.
The parliament resolution on “media freedom and further deterioration of the rule of law in Poland” also condemned Poland's latest draft bill limiting non-EU media ownership, seen as targeting the U.S. ownership of the TVN station that is critical of Poland's government. It is being processed in Poland's parliament but President Andrzej Duda has voiced his reservations.
The resolution said the draft law is an “attempt to silence critical content and a direct attack on media pluralism,” in violation of EU and international laws.
In view of Poland government's shortcomings on media and legislative issues, the lawmakers urged the EU Commission to apply in response the bloc's rule of conditionality that links payment of EU funds to members' observance of its laws. Poland has repeatedly protested the conditionality rule.