Europe already needs a Constitution. The problem that Poland raises today was already raised by Germany in May 2020, when both nations decided not to comply with a judgment of the European Court because it contradicted the doctrine of their respective constitutional courts. Germany in relation to agreements of the European Central Bank, and Poland in relation to its Council of the Judiciary. Article I-6 of the European Constitution that was rejected in a referendum in 2005 by the French and Dutch people clearly stated: Article I-6 Union Law. “The Constitution and the law adopted by the institutions of the Union in the exercise of the powers attributed to it shall prevail over the law of the Member States.”
If that Constitution had prospered, the German Constitutional Court would not have been able to hand down the sentence it handed down on May 5, 2020. Nor could Poland have its own. Chancellor Merkel’s reaction supporting the European Court of Justice in front of the German court, and the rejection of the sentence by the German Supreme Court itself, are eloquent proof that the situation created does not admit of silence, passivity or indifference, as it threatens to the entire institutional architecture on which a strong and united European power rests. It is about the clash between two legal systems, which enter into a frontal collision. Worst of all is that the situation created cannot be fixed by and from Germany, or from Poland. A correct approach requires a European solution, since the German and Polish sentences have an implacable logic because they assume that the state agreements in question are based on the powers ceded to Europe by Germany in an international treaty and not in a European Constitution. That is why the German Supreme Court does not consider itself concerned by a rule with the mere rank of law, such as a Treaty, and concludes that the ECB has exceeded ‘ultra vires’ of the powers ceded by the German state, violating this Thus the ECB is the maximum standard to which said Court is subject.
Conclusion: the Lisbon Treaty that came to cover the absence of a true Constitution, shows its insufficiency as it is not a Constitution, which allows the German Supreme Court to issue this ruling. The conclusion is clear, as it was in 2005: Europe needs a Constitution and it needs it now. We must return to the spirit and methodology of the failed Laeken Constitution. Its text must be updated to incorporate new members into the Union and to offer a graceful way out of the possible reconsideration by the British of their future, reminding them that it was Churchill who proposed the creation of the United States of Europe. The European executive power must be strengthened so that there is that single voice of a president of Europe as they have, with the advantage that this gives them, China, Russia and the United States. Faced with a crisis like this, it is useless to maintain a retarding attitude. What new crisis should we wait for to truly unite and compete on an equal footing with the rest of the world? If we do not take advantage of the current moment to take a step forward, realizing that in Europe everything that is not progress is regression, we will lose the opportunity, the time and the money. Either now, or never.
We have to move towards that new Europe that allows us to confront more united than now all the crises that come. European Constitution is the key word. Let’s move from words to deeds.
antonio hernández mancha
former president of Alianza Popular