Remarks on the understanding of Article 90 of the Polish Constitution by the Constitutional Tribunal

Mirosław Granat

Abstract


Article 90 of the Polish Constitution is defined, both in the jurisprudence and in the doctrine, as the legal basis for the accession of Poland to the European Union (‘pillar of European integration’). In the author’s view, Article 90 of the Polish Constitution is applicable not only to the international treaties which confer on an international organization or international institution the competence of the bodies of State authority in relation to certain matters, but also in relation to such agreements which change the scope of the conferred competences or the conditions of exercise of already conferred competences. Article 136 (3) TFEU in an essential way changes the principles of the functioning of the monetary union. Hence, it alternates the conditions of the exercise of the competences conferred by Poland with regard to the monetary policy, which is also covered by the Accession Treaty. In consequence, Article 90 of the Polish Constitution should have been the legal basis for the ratification of the European Council Decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 TFEU with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro (2011/199/EU). At the time when the Polish Constitution was approved, the perspective of Article 90 of the Polish Constitution was the EU Accession. This provision did not take into account the application of the ‘Schengen method’ by the EU. The understanding of ‘conferral of competence’, presented in the judgment K 33/12 seems so narrow that its test may not be fulfilled by the majority of accession treaties. Due to this interpretation, a broadly understood European integration, does not fall within the scope of Article 90 of the Polish Constitution. The doctrinal understanding of Article 89 of the Polish Constitution also supports the narrow role of Article 90 of the Polish Constitution with regard to the integration treaties. In the view of the author, it is not excluded that both types of ratification of international treaties may be parallel to each other. Hence, in such a situation the role of Article 90 of the Polish Constitution is diminished.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2014.22.0.523
Data publikacji: 2015-04-18 11:34:25
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-04-14 19:06:02

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