Following the controversial ruling of the Polish Constitutional Court on the relationship between national law and EU law, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threatened the country with specific penalties for the first time. The German politician said at a meeting of EU commissioners on Wednesday that a preliminary analysis of last week’s ruling pointed to very serious problems, said EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson. In the event that these concerns are confirmed by an in-depth analysis, the German politician has indicated several options for action.
One is the launch of further infringement proceedings against Poland, which could lead to proceedings before the European Court of Justice and ultimately result in financial sanctions against Warsaw. The new EU rule of law mechanism could also be needed, Simson said. In certain violations of the rule of law, this provides for EU countries to make cuts in the Community budget. The ongoing Article 7 procedure against Poland, which could deprive Warsaw of voting rights in the EU, could also be extended. However, the process has made little progress for years.
The Polish Constitutional Court ruled in early October that parts of EU law were incompatible with the Polish constitution. This raises questions about a cornerstone of the European legal community. The European Commission considers that EU law generally takes precedence over national law.