2010 | 2(97) | 29-51
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EUROPEANIZATION OF POLISH CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (O zjawisku europeizacji polskiego prawa konstytucyjnego)

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Europeanization of law is the consequence of influence of European integration on the domestic legal system of countries aspiring to EU membership. The constitution is not free from this influence. To put it more simply, Europeanization of the constitution means constitutionalization of matters either related (even if in a different way) to European Union law ('a sensu stricto' Europeanization) or generally connected with law enacted by European international organizations ('a sensu largo' Europeanization). Constitutional transformation resulting from the EU accession is mostly reflected in the organizational structure of the state. In Poland, the consequence of delegation of some powers of state authorities to the European Community/European Union (under Article 90 of the Constitution) means the extension of the state activity to the European level. This function of the state does not correspond with the classical separation of powers doctrine. The exercise of this function only by the Council of Ministers threatens the balance of powers guaranteed by Article 10 of the Constitution. There is, above all, a need for involvement of the representative bodies of the Nation in the exercise of this function. Therefore, an amendment to the constitution should be considered that would specify the principles of cooperation in European affairs between the Council of Ministers, the Sejm and the Senate, and the president of the Republic. Europeanization of the constitution does not always have positive effect on its 'improvement'. It may lead to 'erosion' of constitutional standards: disavowal of the principles of the system of government, the weakening of the regulatory function of the state. The absence of constitutionalization of the 'progress in integration' exposes the legal system to criticism for being contradictory and lacking completeness. The scope of Europeanization should be limited by the so-called identity of the constitution, i.e. a relative immutability of fundamental constitutional principles and values. When proclaiming an 'integration option', their authors have not identified those categories which determine the substance of the basic law.
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  • Jan Galster, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika w Toruniu, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Gagarina 15, 87-100 Torun, Poland
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