The European Union’s highest court on Thursday rejected Poland’s contention that the rule of law was being upheld in the country, and gave the government two months to explain how it will curb the powers of the constitutional court.
The European Commission, which coordinates EU policy on the continent, has been pressuring Poland since 2015 to rein in an increasingly authoritarian government.
Thursday’s ruling by the European Court of Justice appeared to be a victory for the commission, but signaled that the case was far from over. The court rejected the parliament’s argument that the constitutional court’s supremacy was protected in Poland because there had been no big changes in the number of judges who sit on the court. The lawmakers had argued that the crisis had only worsened with the rise of the ruling Law and Justice party to power in November 2015.
The landmark ruling strengthens the hand of the European Commission in a new confrontation with Warsaw, which is on a collision course with the EU on issues ranging from corruption to the rule of law.