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CCR: Priority principle to applying EU law, not to be perceived in sense of removing or disregarding national constitutional identity

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CCR sedinta criza

The priority principle for the application of European law must not be perceived in the sense that national constitutional identity is removed or disregarded, shows the reason for the decision by which the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) rejected a series of exceptions and decided that several articles of the law that refer to the establishment and operationalization of the Section for the Investigation of Crimes in Justice (SIIJ) are constitutional.

"The relation between the national law and the law of the European Union has a special regulation in the Romanian Constitution (...). Thus, the clause of accession to the European Union includes in subsidiary a compliance with EU Laws clause, according to which all the national authorities of the state are obliged in principle to implement and enforce the European law. This also applies to the Constitutional Court, which ensures, under Article 148 of the Constitution, the priority principle for the application of European law, but this precedence principle must not be perceived in the sense that national constitutional identity is removed or disregarded (...) but as a guarantee of a fundamental identity nucleus of the Romanian Constitution and which must not be relativized in the process of European integration," shows the reasoning.

CCR states that, by virtue of this constitutional identity, it is empowered to ensure the supremacy of the Fundamental Law on the territory of Romania.

"According to the compliance clause contained in the very text of art. 148 of the Constitution, Romania cannot adopt a normative act contrary to the obligations to which it has committed itself as a member state (...), but those shown above know of course a constitutional limit, grounded on the concept of 'national constitutional identity'," the cited document specifies.

The Constitutional Court states that "the principle of the rule of law presupposes legal security, respectively the legitimate confidence of the addressees in the effects of the legal provisions in force and in their application, so that any subject of law can predictably determine their conduct."

"However, to the extent that some courts leave ex officio national provisions which they consider to be contrary to European law, while others apply the same national rules, deeming them in accordance with European law, the standard of predictability of the rule would be strongly affected, something that would generate a serious legal insecurity and, implicitly, the violation of the rule of law," the reasoning further shows.

In conclusion, the CCR considers that the Decision of 18 May 2021, pronounced by the CJEU, cannot be considered an element that can determine a jurisprudential reversal in terms of the establishment of the incidence of Decision 2006/928 / EC in constitutional review and, implicitly, violation of art. 148 of the Constitution.

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