2007 | 4(81) | 195-210
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The Constitution of 1997, compared to its predecessors, takes a more comprehensive approach to the issue of division of competence to exercise of external powers and the issue of the status of international law in the domestic legal system. These regulations have proved their practical usefulness and do not require review. The more so that they have been created with full awareness of the evolution of importance of particular authorities on the local level as well as an adequate knowledge of the rank and role of 'classic' international law in the modern world. European integration (and, to be precise, the consequences of Poland's membership in the EU to the domestic law) is, on the contrary, the issue that has not found such a mature constitutional regulation. The political disputes, which accompanied the adoption of the Constitution in 1997, resulted in a very restrained approach to these issues by the authors of the Constitution. It might be said that the distinction between 'transfer of competence' and 'transfer of sovereignty' is properly made in the constitution, and the position of EU law is sufficiently specified, but the situation in other areas is not so good. There is lack of satisfactory regulation of the division of competence between the government and parliament in relation to 'European issues' (which particularly undermines the position of the legislature). Beyond the constitutional regulation are European electoral matters, both in respect of elections of Members of the European Parliament and the status of citizens of other EU Member States in national parliamentary elections. There is an obvious need to re-formulate Article 227 (the role of the National Bank of Poland) before Poland's accession to the Euroland. The list of those desirable, or necessary in the future, changes may be much longer. The existence of this problem cannot be neglected. Otherwise, serious troubles can arise, as seen on the example of the European Arrest Warrant (when the amendments to Constitution were made in undue hurry). It has become fact that Poland is a member of the European Union. And this fact should be reasonably, adequately and clearly reflected in the constitution. This must be made in advance before new troubles and complications appear.
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  • L. Garlicki, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
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