Poland seeks to clarify court ruling in EU legal supremacy row

The Polish government has further sought to dampen the impact of last week”s bombshell court ruling, asserting the supremacy of the national constitution over EU law.

Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau took to Twitter on Monday evening to say “the Polish Constitutional Court has confirmed that EU law has primacy over national law only in areas of delegated competence”.

Affirming that last Thursday’s ruling remains in force, he said its ruling meant it was “contrary to the Polish Constitution for EU institutions to extend their competences arbitrarily”.

However, this was in line with the views of the French and German constitutional courts, the minister claimed.

“I’m convinced that my French and German partners will also consider this practice to be contrary to their constitutions,” the foreign minister added.

France and Germany were at the forefront of a torrent of criticism to the Polish court’s ruling. The French European Affairs Minister, Clément Beaune, described it as an “attack against the EU”. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Poland to “fully” respect the EU’s common rules.

Tens of thousands protested across Poland on Sunday in support of the European Union, amid fears that the dispute could escalate and put Polish membership of the EU in question.

Authorities in Warsaw estimated that up to 100,000 people took part in Sunday protests. Demonstrations were also held in many other cities.

Poland’s prime minister denied that his government wants to do a “Polexit,” Mateusz Morawiecki taking to social media to describe such claims as completely untrue, “fake news” and a “harmful myth”.

The head of Poland’s influential Roman Catholic Episcopate that is supportive of the government, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, told Vatican Radio in Rome that “we all want to stay in Europe” and that “no reasonable person wants to leave it”.

Poland’s right-wing government has repeatedly clashed with the EU over its policies, mainly in the justice sector, and insists the 27-member bloc needs adjustments.

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