Polish tribunal rules EU top court interim measures are unconstitutional

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal said on Monday that penalties imposed by the European Union’s top court before it reaches a final ruling, known as interim measures, are not compatible with the Polish constitution, escalating a row over the rule of law.

The ruling comes after the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has been embroiled in numerous conflicts with Brussels since coming to power in 2015, lost its majority in parliament in an Oct. 15 election.

An alliance of pro-European parties is set to form a government and has said it will improve relations with the bloc.

Poland had to pay hundreds of millions of euros in fines in two cases where the Court of Justice of the European Union imposed interim measures – one regarding a row with Czech Republic over the Turow coal mine and another over a disciplinary chamber for judges.

Dismissed by critics as a politicised body, the Constitutional Tribunal had already sparked a crisis in the European Union in 2021 by ruling that parts of the bloc’s treaties are incompatible with the Polish constitution.

(This story has been corrected to change the date of Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling from Tuesday to Monday in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Nick Macfie)