Poland's Kaczynski says primacy of EU law undermines sovereignty

FILE PHOTO: Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, attends a vote during parliamentary elections at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - The European Union's insistence on the primacy of EU law over national legislation undermines Poland's sovereignty, ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in a letter quoted by state news agency PAP.

The European Commission, the guardian of EU treaties, asked Warsaw in June to withdraw a motion filed with Poland's constitutional court seeking a ruling on whether the country's constitution or EU treaties were more important.

"This is an unbelievable demand that undermines the foundations of our sovereignty, our constitutional order, the right of the Republic of Poland to success," Kaczynski said in a letter read out at a conference for readers of the right-wing newspaper Gazeta Polska, PAP reported.

Kaczynski, the leader of the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party and a deputy prime minister, said the Commission's request was part of the "opposition's fight to overthrow the democratically elected government" and a "tool to impose a new, revolutionary order in Europe".

The primacy of EU laws over national ones is a key tenet of European integration.

Opposition politicians say Poland's challenge to the primacy of EU law not only jeopardises the country's future in the EU, but the stability of the bloc itself.

Poland's constitutional court proceedings on the matter, originally set for July, were adjourned until September 22.

EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said earlier in September that Poland's legal challenge was the reason 57 billion euros in EU recovery funds to Warsaw had been held up.

Most of the bloc's 27 countries have already won European Commission approval for their national spending plans, unlocking access to tens of billions of euros from the bloc in COVID-19 recovery funds.

(Reporting by Alicja Ptak; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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