Polish Constitutional Court’s ruling questions EU foundations: EC head

Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission has said that the judgement of the Polish Constitutional Court, challenging the primacy of EU law over national law, questions the foundations of the EU.

Her warning came during a debate in the European Parliament over the Court’s ruling stating that the Polish constitution was superior to that of the EU, despite the primacy of EU law being a central tenet of membership of the bloc.

The ruling has triggered an escalation in tensions between Poland and the EU.

Ms Von der Leyen said that the ruling is “a direct challenge to the unity of the EU” and undermines the protection of judicial independence. She also said this was the first time an EU member has questioned the conformance of the EU Treaties with its own constitution.

“The rule of law is the glue that binds our union together,” she said, adding that the ruling could have “serious consequences” for the Poles, who may find their rights threatened without independent courts.

She also stressed that the ruling undermined the EU's legal order, and said that only a unified legal system guaranteed equal rights, legal safety and trust among the EU members.

Ms Von der Leyen also emphasised that the EU did not recognise the Polish Constitutional Court as an independent unit.