“We, academics, reject the discourse opposing national sovereignty and the rule of law of the European Union”

Tribune. Taking as an example the decision of the Polish constitutional court to celebrate the questioning of the primacy of European Union law over national law in the name of sovereignty is not the happiest choice made by some of our policies.

We cannot rejoice at the decision rendered by the Polish constitutional court on October 7 not only on the primacy of the Constitution over European treaties but also on the merits. It calls into question European principles, such as the independence of the judiciary, which were thought to be common. We will not forget, moreover, that this decision was rendered by judges whose independence was badly abused by the Polish authorities and can be contested today.

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Thus, for its detractors, the primacy of European law over national law would undermine the sovereignty of the people.

Let us begin by recalling things which have been known to states since the 1960s, and which have never been concealed from candidate and new member states, nor from their government, nor from their people.

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The primacy of European law, affirmed by the Court of Justice of the European Communities in 1964, has been accepted by all member states to the point that it is now enshrined in a declaration annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon which governs the European Union: “… The treaties and the law adopted by the Union on the basis of the treaties take precedence over the law of the Member States…”.

Stay or go out

As soon as a State no longer intends to respect the primacy, it undoubtedly intends to violate the treaty it has ratified, as well as the principles and mechanisms that this treaty provides. If this is a political program, its supporters should take it up and ask for their state to be withdrawn from the European Union according to their respective constitutional rules, like the democratic process of the United Kingdom.

It is necessary to settle the question: staying in the Union or leaving the Union is the only possible choice

A salutary reminder also: European rules do not come from elsewhere, they are the expression of the choices of the States and of the European Parliament acting in concert, expressing the dual legitimacy of the State and the peoples. Primacy is therefore the assurance that the will of European citizens and States will be respected by all.

Relying on a judge’s decision, even if it would be constitutional, to go back on a democratic principle, is also to violate democracy. It is necessary to settle the question: staying in the Union or leaving the Union is the only possible choice. But staying in the Union to take advantage of it and harm it, regardless of the will of the Polish people as well as the peoples of other Member States is simply unacceptable.

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“We, academics, reject the discourse opposing national sovereignty and the rule of law of the European Union”