Brussels warns that the EU may be destroyed due to national legal challenges


The EU Justice Commissioner vowed to counter the proliferation of legal challenges and rulings from member states that attacked the supremacy of EU law and warned that they might destroy the EU itself.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Didier Reynders stated that there are increasing questions about the primacy of EU law and the European Court of Justice’s final ruling power, which has created a “spillover effect” and encourages Other countries follow suit. .

As a sign of a perceived threat, the European Commission launched a law this month Litigation against Germany Respond to one Explosive ruling Last year, its Constitutional Court ruled that the European Court of Justice had acted beyond its jurisdiction in cases related to the European Central Bank’s bond purchases.

The next major legal challenge for Brussels is Polish Constitutional Court, Which may be released on July 13, on whether certain elements of the EU treaty are in compliance with the constitution. This case was initiated by the Polish nationalist government and is regarded by legal experts as the most serious challenge to the EU legal order so far.

Reynders stated that Warsaw has been able to “take the example of the German decision” to present its argument that the Polish Constitution and its courts take precedence over the European Union Treaty and the European Court of Justice.

Senior EU officials are increasingly shocked by these challenges of the supremacy of EU law, whether they are from Eastern European countries such as Poland and Hungary, or from some of the founding member states of the EU, including Germany and France.

Reynders stated that he did not realize that defending the basic principles of EU law was “so important” when he took up his judicial office.

“What is the risk if we don’t pay attention to this? It’s that we will destroy the union itself,” Reendez said. The EU is based on rules that its member states apply consistently, so if this is no longer the case, the group may be undermined.

“When we encounter problems in a member state, the risk is a spillover effect, that is, all member states or some member states tend to challenge the primacy of EU law and the court’s exclusive jurisdiction justice,” he said.

In France, the government appealed to Conseil d’État, the French Supreme Administrative Court, requesting the revocation of an October ruling made by the European Court of Justice that the collection of data by the security department violated privacy rules.Subsequently, Paris was partially rejected by the French court ruling In April.

At the same time, Hungary has submitted a decision of the European Court of Justice to abolish its immigration law to the Constitutional Court, instead of accepting the European Court of Justice Decide the end.

As for the German case last year, its Constitutional Court stated that the European Court of Justice had failed to consider whether the European Central Bank’s asset purchases were proportionate.

German courts are finally satisfied When getting more information about the central bank’s strategy. Even so, Brussels initiated a tort lawsuit to defend the supremacy principle of the European Court of Justice.

“If you don’t stop it, you will have more and more possibilities for different member states to challenge the primacy of EU law and the capacity of the European Court of Justice,” Reendez said.

Poland is the most urgent next case. Laurent Pech, a professor of European law at Middlesex University, stated that Poland’s opposition to the supreme ruling of the European Court of Justice would be tantamount to a “nuclear strike on the EU legal order” because it “will not be inapplicable to the judgment of the European Court of Justice.” [as in the German case] But the EU treaty stipulates”.

In this case, the committee has no choice but to take legal action against Warsaw.

Reynders stated that he “does not want to wait weeks or weeks before reacting to any contempt of Poland’s decision by the European Court of Justice.” He has taken the unusual step of asking the Polish government to withdraw its petition to the Constitutional Court before the Constitutional Court makes a verdict.

Even so, Page and other legal scholars have Strong criticism The Commission did not act quickly and forcefully to protect Poland’s judicial independence.

Since 2016, the Polish government has partially eliminated the position of judges of the Supreme Court through mandatory retirement.It also has Illegally appointed party loyalists A new chamber was created for the Constitutional Court to discipline judges and a new law restricting their independence.

However, since Reynders took office in 2019, the committee has only initiated two infringement proceedings against Warsaw. Critics say it is too slow to take action to force Warsaw to comply with previous European Court of Justice rulings. Brussels can apply to the court to impose fines on countries that fail to comply with the European Court of Justice’s ruling.

Reynders refuted the criticism, saying: “We don’t have the same timeline as Twitter.”

The committee has also been criticized by members of the European Parliament and legal experts for not immediately launching the EU’s new “conditional mechanism,” which links EU budget payments with respect for the rule of law.

Reynders stated that Brussels has begun to monitor the actions of member states and has formulated guidelines for the application of the new mechanism. It will be decided after summer whether to open a case.

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