The ruling by a court that Polish law sometimes takes precedence over European law is causing division in Poland. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki welcomed the verdict of his country’s Constitutional Court.
Former Prime Minister Donald Tusk called on pro-European compatriots to demonstrate.
Morawiecki had asked the court to rule on whether European law also takes precedence over the Polish constitution. The judges subsequently concluded that parts of European treaties are contrary to the constitution. This puts Warsaw on a collision course with the executive board of the EU in Brussels. Insiders fear a crisis within the EU or even Poland’s departure from the EU.
The ruling also led to emotional reactions in Poland. Several dozen demonstrators gathered at the court on Thursday. They waved European flags and shouted “shame” and “traitors”. A crying woman called the judges’ verdict outrageous. “They’re taking us out of the European Union.”
The Polish prime minister is happy with the ruling. Morawiecki emphasized on Facebook that his country wants to remain part of the “European family of nations”, but according to him, everyone must be treated “with respect”. Poland has been at loggerheads with the European Commission for some time over reforms in the country that, according to Brussels, are increasingly undermining democracy and the rule of law.
The opposition does not share the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm. Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called on compatriots to demonstrate in Warsaw on Sunday. “Only together can we stop them,” he wrote on Twitter. After his premiership, Tusk served as EU president, among other things, and has since returned to the post of leader of the main Polish opposition party.