An overwhelming majority of MEPs voted in favour of a report drafted and negotiated by Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer (S&D) along with Estonian MEP Yana Toom (RENEW) on the functioning of the EU.
The report recommends that the principle of primacy – a conceprt that asserts the primacy of EU laws over national laws that might contradict the Treaties – is included as an explicit conditoin in any forthcoming revision of the EU Treaties.
“This is a vote on whether we agree with the very existence of the European Union,” Engerer said before the vote, noting that fascists in the EU and those backed by supporters of Russian president Vladimir Putin, were seeking to dismantle and destabilise the EU.
“Imagine a European continent without the European Union. This is not a hypothetical scenario but a reality that fascists are working towards,” Engerer said. “It is crucial that what we agreed upon when each of our countries joins the European Union is cherished and protected because without what is fundamental – the European legal framework that applies equally to everyone – the European Union cannot function and survive.”
Primacy is a core principle of EU law, which has been developed over time by the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU: by integrating EU law into national laws, as well as the spirit of the Treaty, it is impossible for member states to accord precedence to unilateral and subsequent measures over a legal system accepted by them on a basis of reciprocity.
The concept of primacy means that in case of a conflict between EU and national laws, member states are obliged not to apply national law that is contrary to EU law, or otherwise obliged to interpret national law in conformity with EU law.
Despite this long-standing and well-established case-law, the primacy of EU law is not enshrined in the Treaties. It was foreseen in the now abandoned EU Constitution, and then adopted as a Declaration annexed to the Lisbon Treaty.
However, rapporteurs Cyrus Engerer and Yana Toom said that in order to ensure the respect of the principle of primacy of EU law, it is essential to change its legal status. “The codification of the principle in primary law could contribute to clarify the relationship between EU and the national legal orders and mitigate conflicts,” the MEPs said.
After the vote, Engerer thanked all democratic parties – EPP, S&D, Renew Europe, Liberals, and Greens – who strongly voted in favour of a report that forms the basis of all that the Union stands on.
“Far-right extremists who voted against this report believe that Europe should not exist, and today showed their preference for discord and isolation over unity, peace, freedom and prosperity,” Engerer said.
“As a citizen of the smallest Member State and a Labour MEP, I will continue to push forward our conviction in the European project,” he said.